Serious Play:
Design in Midcentury America

September 28, 2018–January 6, 2019
Baker/Rowland Galleries

Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America explores the projects of over 40 designers who advocated for playfulness and whimsy within their creations for corporations, domestic interiors, and children. The exhibition presents play as a serious form of inspiration, experimentation, and problem solving. In midcentury America, such playful design occurred against the backdrop of a booming consumer market and as a counterbalance to Cold War–era anxiety. Furniture, toys, textiles, films, posters, ceramics are among the objects featured.

Co-organized with the Denver Art Museum

Presenting Sponsors:

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts

Artworks | National Endowment for the Arts Brady Herman Miller Cares
Supporting Sponsors: In Memory of L. William (Bill) Teweles BSI Melinda and Ken Krei The Terri and Verne Holoubek Family Foundation Anonymous

Programs + Events

Member Drink & Think: Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America

Thursday, October 25, 5:30 PM

Enjoy cocktails and socialize with other Members before getting an insider’s look at the exhibition Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America with Monica Obniski, Demmer Curator of 20th- and 21st-Century Design.

Included is one glass of wine or beer from the cash bar, which opens at 5:30 p.m. The tour begins at 6:15 p.m., followed by time for questions and discussion.

This event is a benefit for Members at the Art Advocate level ($200) and above. RSVP at 414-224-3284 or membership@mam.org.

Not a Member? Join today!

Lecture: Creating the World: Noguchi and Play

Thursday, November 8, 6:15 PM

Gallery Talk: Family Pictures

Tuesday, November 27, 1:30 PM

Lecture: The Serious Play of Alexander Girard

Thursday, November 29, 6:15 PM
  • Ray Eames with the first prototype of The Toy, 1950. © Eames Office LLC (eamesoffice.com)