Seeing 40/40: Forty Years of Collecting at GMD

Seeing 40 / 40 exhibition

Since the Goldstein Museum of Design's formation in 1976, the collection has grown to more than 34,000 objects. In celebration of the museum's 40th anniversary, this exhibition featured 40 pieces that offered a peek into the integrity and beauty of the museum's collection.

Exhibition Details

Seeing 40/40: Forty Years of Collecting at GMD

  • September 10, 2016–January 8, 2017
  • Gallery 241

Curator: Lin Nelson-Mayson

Happy 40th Anniversary, GMD! Long before the Goldstein Museum of Design’s formation in 1976, professors Harriet and Vetta Goldstein were amassing a personal design collection that was used in object-based teaching. The collection has grown considerably since this time, with more than 34,000 objects from over 1,000 generous donors. This exhibition features 40 objects selected by a wide range of design thought leaders. Seeing 40/40 will offer a peek into the integrity and beauty of GMD’s collection.

Displaying 40 objects from the Goldstein Museum of Design’s permanent collection is a somewhat ineffective way of telling GMD’s story. In fact, the selected objects represent only 1/10th of a percent of the 34,000+ objects collected since its formation in 1976. The objects’ stories also fail to recount the vision and perseverance of those integral to GMD’s formation. However, they succeed in illustrating the power and solidity of a resource championed by people such as Natalja Hurley Klingel, Gertrude Esteros, Timothy Blade, Margot Siegel, Joanne Eicher, and, of course, Harriet and Vetta Goldstein.

The 40 objects on display have been selected by 40 individuals from our community, each of whom provide a written interpretation from a unique point of view. Their narratives reveal design’s ability to both be part of one’s everyday experience, and highly evocative of a specific time and place. Whether admiring the integrity of a Shaker chair, or appreciating the skill embodied in a garment by Dior, good design challenges the existing and innovates the new. Design solves complex problems, and unscrambles daily dilemmas in wondrous ways.

Exhibition Images

Seeing 40 / 40 exhibition objects on display black dresses
Seeing 40 / 40 exhibition dresses on display
Seeing 40 / 40 exhibition objects on display