Artek and the Aaltos with Nina Stritzler-Levine
Wednesday, March 15
A pioneering retailer of modern design to emerge during the interwar years, Artek, the Finnish company best known as the producer of bentwood furniture designed by Alvar Aalto, was a precursor to such world-renowned design companies in the United States as Knoll and Design Research. Established in 1935, Artek was the only design company to be co-founded by a leading architect of the modern movement and to have a shop, art gallery, interior design office and major international distribution network. Aino Marsio-Aalto, the company’s first artistic director was the wife of Alvar Aalto and also his closest collaborator. Artek and the Aaltos examines the close collaboration of the architect couple as well as their independent work for the Artek company. Aino Marsio-Aalto received her degree in architecture from the Helsinki University of Technology in 1920, the year before Alvar Aalto.
Following the exhibition Artek and the Aaltos at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery in the Fall 2016, this talk will elaborate on the project’s history with particular focus on the extensive body of new research it brought to light and the curatorial thinking the contributed to its realization.
An art historian with a specialization in Modernism, and contemporary design and architecture and the history of museums, Nina Stritzler-Levine is Director of the Bard Graduate Center Gallery and a founding member of the staff. She was the director of the Artek project, a co-curator, and editor the exhibition catalogue.