Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye

Nov 15, 2014–Jan 18, 2016

MoMA

Hiroshi Ohchi. Radio. 1954. Silkscreen, 40 1/2 × 28 1/4″ (102.9 × 71.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designer
  • MoMA, Floor 3, Exhibition Galleries The Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries

Music and design—art forms that share aesthetics of rhythm, tonality, harmony, interaction, and improvisation—have long had a close affinity, perhaps never more so than during the 20th century. Radical design and technological innovations, from the LP to the iPod and from the transistor radio to the Stratocaster, have profoundly altered our sense of how music can be performed, heard, distributed, and visualized. Avant-garde designers—among them Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Lilly Reich, Saul Bass, Jørn Utzon, and Daniel Libeskind—have pushed the boundaries of their design work in tandem with the music of their time. Drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection, Making Music Modern gathers designs for auditoriums, instruments, and equipment for listening to music, along with posters, record sleeves, sheet music, and animation. The exhibition examines alternative music cultures of the early 20th century, the rise of radio during the interwar period, how design shaped the “cool” aesthetic of midcentury jazz and hi-fidelity culture, and its role in countercultural music scenes from pop to punk, and later 20th-century design explorations at the intersection of art, technology, and perception.

Every Friday at 5:45 p.m., join us for screenings on the 1963 Scopitone—an early music film jukebox. Note: there will be no Scopitone Screening on Friday, January 1.

Share an image of your favorite album cover using the hashtag #MakingMusicModern.

Organized by Juliet Kinchin, Curator, and Luke Baker, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.

Architecture and Design Collection Exhibitions are made possible by Hyundai Card and Hyundai Capital America.

Publication

  • 1 page

Artists

Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].