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Whether you are a midcentury design buff or just discovering this dynamic era and style, join us in a three-session summer course for a deeper look at Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America.
Learn more about the social, cultural, and political context of midcentury America, ponder the ways in which “fun” informs the design aesthetic of this period, and get playful with an exploration of iconic midcentury chairs.
Session 1: Moderns before Midcentury (June 15, 2:30-4 pm)
In this presentation, University of Colorado Denver art historian Maria Elena Buszek will give a brief introduction to the "Moderns" at the turn of the century whose work preceded and inspired Charles and Ray Eames.
From Arts and Crafts to Art Nouveau to the Bauhaus, Dr. Buszek will survey key figures and concepts in design history that led to the work on display in the DAM's Serious Play exhibition.
Session 2: Playful Seriousness (July 13, 2:30-4 pm)
As a six-year-old, speaker Carla Atwood Hartman spent a glorious summer at the Eames House (along with her mother, a brother, and a sister) playing, learning, making and exploring all while under the exuberant tutelage of grandparents Charles and Ray Eames.
Hartman will delve into the connections, the iterations, problem-solving, and “Powers of Ten thinking” of their designs.
Session 3: Fun, Taste & IKEA (August 10, 2:30-4 pm)
Why do people shop IKEA across the world? Accessible design and reasonable prices come to mind.
But look closer and you find fun lurking in the meatballs, carefully arranged domestic tableaux and winding trails of discovery. Beauty has long dominated the world of art and design, but playful, joyful fun has long motivated artists and creators, delighting the minds of consumers and patrons alike.
More information about session presenters available here.
$60 DAM members/$70 nonmembers for all three sessions
$22 DAM members/$25 nonmembers for single sessions
Tickets now on sale to DAM members, on sale to others April 8.
Adult programs are supported by William Randolph Hearst Endowment for Education Programs, Nancy Benson Education Endowment Fund, CenturyLink Endowment, Jim Kelley and Amie Knox Education Endowment Fund, Colorado Creative Industries, Denver Post Community Foundation, and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).
Image: Ray Eames with the first prototype of The Toy, 1950. ©Eames Office LLC (eamesoffice.com)