Pathmakers: Honoring Influential Women in Art, Craft, and Design

“Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today,” an exhibition featuring more than 100 notable works by influential women, opened in New York at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) on April 27.

The innovative works of Ruth Asawa, Edith Heath, Sheila Hicks, Karen Karnes, Dorothy Liebes, Alice Kagawa Parrott, Toshiko Takaezu, Lenore Tawney, and Eva Zeisel are showcased on two of the museum’s floors. The individual works include a wide range of materials, such as textiles, ceramics, and metals.

The exhibit includes four singular hanging sculptures by Ruth Asawa. The wire sculptures were groundbreaking in their use of a nontraditional material and received critical attention after her first retrospective in 2006, when she was 80 years old.

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

Three colorful opera ponchos designed by Alice Kagawa Parrott are on display courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera and measure 27 inches wide and 72 inches high.

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

Axor teamed up with Swedish design group Front to design a thought-provoking installation, “Waterdreams.” The installation shows viewers the inner workings and behind-the-walls parts of a shower.

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

A large installation by Polly Apfelbaum features a collection of 30 textiles inspired by the 1950s publication A Handweaver’s Pattern Book and her handmade ceramic beads. The textiles include a range of vibrant colors and patterns, all of which were made using markers and a simple stencil.

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

Marianna Strengell’s ForeCast Rug for the Aluminum Company of American (Alcoa) is made of 80 percent aluminum and 20 percent wool and measures 147 inches long and 66 inches wide. The rug was widely used by the military during World War II.

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

A curtain of ceramic beads, resembling Hella Jongerius’ redesign for the United Nations Delegates’ Lounge, is also on display. The Knots & Beads curtain was hand-knotted in Jongerius’ studio and recreated for the Pathmakers exhibition.

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

Jenna Bascom, Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design

The Anchored Candy series by Vivian Beer is a collection of benches inspired by fashion and hotrods. Anchored Candy no. 4 (pictured) is made of stainless steel, automotive paint, and patina, and provides a unique sitting experience for both men and women.

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The exhibition runs through September 27, 2015, and will travel to the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. The exhibit will be on display in D.C. from October 30, 2015, to February 28, 2016. To find out more about Pathmakers, visit madmuseum.org.

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