Birth of the Modern
edited by Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 6/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
The year that brought you The Communist Manifesto and the fall of French King Louis Philippe has now inspired an exhibition at New York's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. "Faster, Cheaper, Newer, More: Revolutions of 1848" is a small window on the industrial progress that accompanied the political and social tumult.
In curating the show, novelist and journalist Kurt Andersen focused not only on manufacturing, the telegraph, and Joseph Paxton's Crystal Palace but also on such commonplace products as a lady's fan. As Andersen explains it, "The more I researched the decade around 1848—and the radical ways of communicating, traveling, selling, designing, and thinking that emerged—the more I came to see that the way we live now fundamentally began right then." Through January 9; 212-849-8400; ndm.si.edu.