MOMA’s kitchen exhibit: Live tour with curators Juliet Kinchin & Aidan O’Connor

There’s less than one month left to visit the Museum of Modern Art’s, Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen. With my current detour to Kentucky, I am not sure that I am going to make it to New York City to see the exhibit. But, I enjoyed a virtual visit via this live walk through with curators Juliet Kinchin ad Aiden O’Connor. It continues to be fascinating to be in the middle of the resurgent interest in mid century design, including the more mainstream, domestic sphere. MOMA’s kitchen exhibit ends May 2.


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  1. punkrockmartha says

    i have been obsessed with going to this exhibit for months, but keep being “too busy..” thanks for reminding me that i’m lucky to live close enough to make this a day trip, and that i don’t have much longer to get my bum in gear!

  2. CindyD says

    Fascinating virtual tour. Thanks for posting this. I’m certain I won’t be able to get there, but this was a nice peek into the exhibit, and provides plenty of detail to look into on my own. I never thought of sugar cubes as a standardization of portion. I just thought they were cute!

  3. Angela says

    I just love this topic, thank you so much for posting it. What a fascinating topic to learn about over Sunday morning coffee.

  4. Marsha says

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this. I wish I was able to get away from work just to go see it. Did anyone else notice one of the videos playing in the background? I saw it here earlier; it was that one where the farm couple is having the “modern kitchen” described for them. I think it was an Ag. Dept. production.

  5. Elaine says

    I really enjoyed this tour. It made me think of all the changes in kitchens I’ve seen. For instance, my one grandma’s kitchen was pre-rural electrification when I first saw it, but it had many of the features we have today. My grandpa built it just for her, so everything was short as she was tiny. The counter along one wall was just the same height as the table in the middle. The top was painted wood.edged in metal. She had a sink that drained out to the field next to the house. We hauled water in from the well and it sat in its bucket on the counter next to the sink with a dipper in it. A washstand with a basin and a mirrored cabinet above it stood next to the right end of the counter,. and a woodstove was on the opposite wall. There was a table and chairs in the middle of the room, and the icebox was outside the door next to the washstand, in the “shed” back porch. There was also a pantry back there where food staples were stored. In those days, you had to lay in supplies, so a hundred pounds of beans, potatoes and flour were in the pantry. She had overhead cabinets, too, but she could only reach the bottom shelves.

    Over time, she got electricity but not plumbing. She got an electric stove and a small refrigerator, which was put next to the stove. This was in the late 50s. She finally got running water and drains in the mid-60s, and that was the end of the washstand and the open well. There were no other changes to the kitchen.

  6. Marsha says

    Just bought the exhibit book today. I haven’t had time to read it, but I can tell it’s going to be great fun. It might also stoke some lemming fire in my heart, Etsy/Ebay here I come!

  7. andrea says

    and I would love to have a pair of the ‘Vegetebull’ and ‘Don’t Cook the Nutrients Away’ posters for my kitchen!!!!!

  8. Heart says

    I really appreciated this video! Wherever did you find it? LOVE the virtual museum tour with the curators as guides. Looking forward to their next Retro exhibition. Thank you Pam!

    • pam kueber says

      Thanks – I was all over this exhibit when it came out. I am particularly interested in Grete Schutte Lihotsky, creator of the famous “Fitted Kitchen.”

      • Heart says

        I heard about the ‘fitted kitchen’ when I was in school. Interesting engineering for the domestic front. I remember thinking how many sizes would they have to have for different size people before the averaging. (lol I’m kooky like that)

        I’m curious about the Italian kitchen on the pedestal. It’s so condensed, it looks like it could fit on a gypsy wagon. I would love to learn more about the original concept on that! What was their intention? How would it be used? Was it designed for a contest? or for travel? small spaces? Curious…

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