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June 18, 2013

New design galleries to open at IMA

INDIANAPOLIS — Officials with the Indianapolis Museum of Art have announced new contemporary design galleries set to open Nov. 21 after a three-year, multi-phase renovation project.

The reinstallation of the museum’s expanded collection of modern design will span nearly 10,000 square feet and feature more than 400 objects.

Unlike most design installations, the IMA’s will focus on design after 1980 — a period of immense growth and creativity. The galleries will be based on the two overarching concepts: design as industry and design as art. The new installation will be one of the largest displays of contemporary design in any North American art museum and one of the first surveys of recent trends in this dynamic field.

The IMA’s Department of Design Arts was created in 2007 and focuses on a collection of post-1945 design, representing a range of media including furniture, glass, ceramics, metalwork, and product design from Europe, the United States, and Asia. Over the last six years under the leadership of R. Craig Miller, senior curator of design arts, the department has acquired more than 1,200 objects. Notable recent acquisitions include:

- Alessandro Mendini, Poltrona di Proust lounge chair, 1978; manufactured by Atelier Mendini; painted wood and fabric.

- Robert Venturi, Louis XVI chest, 1984-1989; designed by Venturi Scott Brown and Associates, manufactured by Paul Downs Cabinetmakers; painted wood.

- Michael Graves, Tea & Coffee Piazza Service, 1980-84; manufactured by Alessi; 925/1000 silver, lacquered aluminum, mock ivory, and Bakelite.

- James Dyson, DC11 vacuum, 2003; manufactured by Dyson Ltd.; plastic and metal.

- Philippe Starck, Bedside Gun shade, 2005; manufactured by FLOS S.p.A; gold-plated Beretta pistol and paper.

The new design arts galleries will feature a tripartite space linked by a 180-foot-long vista. The entrance gallery will be an introductory space that will showcase recent acquisitions or small special exhibitions and will also provide visitors with an orientation of the entire installation.

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