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On Exhibit

June 2024
1min read

The vitality of American culture rests on its blending of influences, and nowhere is this more true than in the hybrid field of design, as is shown by a group of current museum exhibits. From March 12 to August 8 the St. Louis Art Museum ( www.slam. org ) will present Art of the Osage, showing how these Indian artists assimilated into their traditional forms the work of white artists, new motifs, like the American flag, and new materials, including rayon, brass, and silk. Meanwhile, at New York City’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Shock of the Old: Christopher Dresser will be on view from March 5 to July 29. Industrial design has achieved its greatest flowering in the United States, yet its founder was British. Dresser was an industrial designer before that profession existed, creating strikingly modern-looking teapots, bowls, toast racks, and furniture as early as the 1870s. To top it all off, our great nation now has three separate Pez-dispenser museums with the opening of the newest one in Easton, Pennsylvania (“Just paces away from the Crayola factory!”; www.eastonmuseumofpez. com ). Like its fellow Fez institutions in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (“Inside Alma & Annie’s; next to ‘Adventure Falls’ mini golf”), and Burlingame, California (“ten minutes south from the San Francisco International Airport”; ), the Easton museum packs more than half a century’s worth of design, engineering, and culture into a space about the size of a studio apartment.

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