Join us to celebrate the opening of Bard Graduate Center’s spring exhibitions: “Artek and the Aaltos: Creating a Modern World” and “Frontier Shores: Collection, Entanglement, and the Manufacture of Identity in Oceania”

RSVP required to [email protected]

#Artek #FrontierShores


Artek and the Aaltos: Creating a Modern World is the first exhibition in the United States to examine Artek, a pioneering Finnish design company founded in 1935, and the first to have a specific focus on the two architect co-founders, Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) and Aino Marsio-Aalto (1894–1949). The exhibition considers the Aaltos’ shared practice through the lens of this groundbreaking company, whose under-recognized and multifaceted mission far exceeded its manufacturing of bentwood furniture designed by Alvar Aalto, for which the firm is best known. It also offers for the first time a specific analysis of Artek’s distinct international role as a disseminator of modernism in art, architecture, interiors, furniture, and other modern products.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the growing discipline of anthropology was both a powerful tool of colonial control and an ideological justification for it. As European empires and their commercial reach expanded, different populations became intertwined in relationships of exchange and power. Focusing on Oceania—the vast region encompassing Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the tropical Pacific Islands—Frontier Shores: Collection, Entanglement, and the Manufacture of Identity in Oceania explores how anthropology was used by colonial powers to justify and gain control over the resources and lives of the various native peoples, how collection both described and pacified the frontier, and how marginalized peoples adapted to, resisted, or otherwise exerted their own power and agency in the colonial context.