We’ve got Michigan museums on the brain this week: first with a look at the Cranbrook Art Museum’s Michigan Modern exhibition, and now with news that the Henry Ford in Dearborn has acquired an original kiosk designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
Originally crafted for use in the fair’s IBM Pavilion, the kiosk is one of two known to survive. (The other one was acquired by Vitra in 2006.) Charles and Ray designed it to resemble a colorful tent-like structure — complete with pennants — and used iron, walnut, and plastic laminate in its construction. This kiosk originally housed interactive exhibit elements that were part of a program the Eames Office created to explain the impact of IBM’s computing technology. “It is a powerful and appealing artifact,” said the museum’s chief curator Marc Greuther. “And it’s a reminder that Charles and Ray Eames could apply lightness of touch and whimsy to serious yet fun exhibit design.”
The kiosk is a highly significant Eames artifact, to be sure, but it also relates to the broader topic of world’s fairs — a subject the Henry Ford continues to explore, particularly in its visiting exhibition Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s. For a more detailed tour of the pavilion, take a look at this video explanation from Daniel Ostroff, editor of EamesDesigns.com. (We’re also fans of this roundup of the fair at Esoteric Survey.) Visiting Michigan soon? Be sure to check out the Henry Ford at thehenryford.org.
Photography courtesy of Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)