January 15, 2005

MoMA's Modernity


STILL MODERN AFTER ALL THESE YEARS
21st-century Architecture at New York's Museum of Modern Art

New York

The first Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) opened in New York in November 1929 -- the same year Ludwig Mies van der Rohe produced the now iconic German Pavilion for the Barcelona World's Fair. At the time, what we now call modern architecture (and was then not yet named the International Style) was just being discovered in Northern Europe. Avatars of the modern movement in America -- founding director of the Modern, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock and architect Philip Johnson -- were just getting their start.

January 14, 2005

Knoll and Knock-Offs

MIES’S PIECES: KNOLL STAKES ITS CLAIM OVER CLASSIC MODERN SEATING
New York



The famed Barcelona chair, designed by the great, modern architect from Berlin, Mies van der Rohe, has plenty in common with the Herm├Ęs Birkin bag -- both are prone to knockoffs that annoy their licensees. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but to some manufacturers it is simply against the law. In October, the US Patent and Trademark Office awarded trademark protection to Knoll, the renowned maker of high-end modernist furnishings, which controls the license for Mies's now classic furniture designs.