More Living Ideas

Our editors share their inspirations every day

hdr_img_spring.jpg Get The Technique

Inspiration Board : Museum of Arts and Design

Posted by

Last week, my coworkers and I paid a visit to the Museum of Arts and Design (formerly the American Craft Museum) to give our brains and hands a rest and to get some inspiration (one forgets how important this is!!). I was particularly taken with one of the current exhibits, "Slash: Paper Under The Knife," a collection of paper art (now through April 4th). MAD doesn't allow photographs within the museum, but that was to my benefit - I wrote down my favorite artists' names and Googled them when we got "home" ... and found so much more to get excited about. I'd like to share some of them with you below.

(Click the artwork to find out more about the artist)


Chris Kenny: Composition 2009, construction with map pieces

Chris Kenny does a lot of work with maps and other found printed materials - the composition and use of color is incredible! I love the idea of creating a simpler, personalized take on this with maps from a favorite vacation spot or a hometown.


Ferry Staverman


Ferry Staverman

Ferry Staverman's creations from cardboard, paint, thread, and glue (the Walking Through the Park series is on display at MAD) make me want to create a fancy forest for Christmas out of UPS boxes. Not sure my craft-knife hand could hold up long enough to do as many curves! Holy cow.


Brian Dettmer: Standard American, 2008

Brian Dettmer's transformation ("dissection") of books fascinates me -- I love the sculptural representation of what's inside. I'd feel a little guilty cutting up a book unless I could be sure it would result in something this interesting ... so I'll leave this to Brian, and just stare.


Stephen Beal, Periodic Table of the Artist's Colors

Finally, this Stephen Beal embroidery piece is part of MAD's permanent collection, but I had to include it here because as a stitcher and former physics major, I am completely geeking out. I want to pull out all my old textbooks and see what scientific diagrams I can turn into embroidery samplers. Nerd alert! Check out his website for more fun stuff, including an homage to one of my favorite movies ...

... and check out MAD's website, consider becoming a member if you live in the area, and for SURE put it on your list of activities if you're an NYC visitor.

Comments (10)

  • i love the color table! i can not wait to see what you make with all of that inspiration!

  • I went to this exhibit and it was really amazing!

  • What fascinating artwork! I LUV IT! TFS

  • that show rocked!! they do the best stuff. i've loved the whole series; pricked extreme embroidery was mind bending. thanks for highlighting them!

  • take a look at the work of Kirsten Hassenfeld. She does really beautiful installations made from paper. Incredibly magical!

  • I love the periodic table! As a graphic designer who started out studying biological science, I can certainly appreciate it! (don't miss chemistry though!)

  • I love the periodic table, I painted one as a project in high school for my arts class in the Science room. It took up the entire back wall.

  • how lovely is the periodic table--color history & science is just fascinating--thanks for sharing this inspiration!

  • You guys might also want to check out the Kiki Smith show "Sojourn" at the Brooklyn Museum. It's almost all works on paper , many of them sort of cut or torn and collaged as well as lots of very beautiful pen and ink drawings on Nepal paper ( looks like vellum). She also uses lots of glitter which I know is a MS favorite and toothpicks. I thought it was very inspiring.

  • What a wonderful exhibit and seems like too much to take in at once. I'm in the middle of making paper hats for each guest at my daughter's wedding and this seems like a great place to get inspired for the project.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.