Counter Space at the MoMA

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September 23, 2010

In post-World War I Germany, architect Grete Schütte-Lihotzky's "Frankfurt Kitchen" was manufactured and installed in thousands of public-housing unit across Frankfurt am Main. Schütte-Lihotzky's design took the kitchen out of hiding and into public light, showcasing smart, small, and ergonomic strategies for storage, appliances, and work areas. The Frankfurt Kitchen is at the center of the New York Museum of Modern Art's new show Counter Space, which opened last week. The exhibition also features iconic kitchen products and innovation of the 20th century, including Philippe Starck's lemon squeezer and Snaidero's Spazio Vivo mobile kitchen unit. The show runs through March 14, 2011.

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  One of the MoMA's recent acquisitions is the Schütte-Lihotzky-designed Frankfurt Kitchen from the Ginnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, a gift from Joan R. Brewster in memory of her husband George W.W. Brewster.  Courtesy of: Stuttgarter Gesellschaft fŸr Kunst und Denkmalpflege, 2005
    One of the MoMA's recent acquisitions is the Schütte-Lihotzky-designed Frankfurt Kitchen from the Ginnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, a gift from Joan R. Brewster in memory of her husband George W.W. Brewster.

    Courtesy of: Stuttgarter Gesellschaft fŸr Kunst und Denkmalpflege, 2005

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  Designed in 1926-27, Schütte-Lihotzky's kitchen features thoughtful arrangement of storage, appliances, and work surfaces and is the precursor to the 1950s yellow and green kitchens and the kitchen as the hearth of the home.  Courtesy of: Stuttgarter Gesellschaft fŸr Kunst und Denkmalpflege, 2005
    Designed in 1926-27, Schütte-Lihotzky's kitchen features thoughtful arrangement of storage, appliances, and work surfaces and is the precursor to the 1950s yellow and green kitchens and the kitchen as the hearth of the home.

    Courtesy of: Stuttgarter Gesellschaft fŸr Kunst und Denkmalpflege, 2005

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  This photograph of a Schütte-Lihotzky kitchen in a home in Frankfurt am Main shows how the area fit into the context of the house as a galley.
    This photograph of a Schütte-Lihotzky kitchen in a home in Frankfurt am Main shows how the area fit into the context of the house as a galley.
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  Here the Frankfurt Kitchen as reconstructed and on view at the MoMA.  Courtesy of: Stuttgarter Gesellschaft fŸr Kunst und Denkmalpflege, 2005
    Here the Frankfurt Kitchen as reconstructed and on view at the MoMA.

    Courtesy of: Stuttgarter Gesellschaft fŸr Kunst und Denkmalpflege, 2005

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  Also on view as part of Counter Space are iconic kitchen products of the 20th century.n In the early 1930s, American designer Lurelle Guild created the Wear-Ever Tea Kettle (model 1403) for the Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company, which featured an aluminum body with a plastic handle and lid knob.  Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.
    Also on view as part of Counter Space are iconic kitchen products of the 20th century.n In the early 1930s, American designer Lurelle Guild created the Wear-Ever Tea Kettle (model 1403) for the Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company, which featured an aluminum body with a plastic handle and lid knob.

    Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.

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  The iconic Chemex Coffee Maker was designed by German-born American designer Peter Schlumbohm, manufactured for the Chemex Corp. in 1941. Inspired by Bauhaus design and his own personal need for a coffee maker, Schlumbohm based the design on an Erlenmeyer flask.  Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.
    The iconic Chemex Coffee Maker was designed by German-born American designer Peter Schlumbohm, manufactured for the Chemex Corp. in 1941. Inspired by Bauhaus design and his own personal need for a coffee maker, Schlumbohm based the design on an Erlenmeyer flask.

    Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.

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  In the 1940s, Earl S. Tupper designed a polyethylene line of containers--called Welcome Ware--that would later become the ubiquitous Tupperware of the 1950s. The commonplace today, at the time, the plastic cups and food containers were avant-garde in both form and material.  Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.
    In the 1940s, Earl S. Tupper designed a polyethylene line of containers--called Welcome Ware--that would later become the ubiquitous Tupperware of the 1950s. The commonplace today, at the time, the plastic cups and food containers were avant-garde in both form and material.

    Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.

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  Braun AG's Multipurpose Kitchen Machine (shown here in blender configuration) was launched in 1957 as the one-stop cooking and baking appliance (the KitchenAid mixer of mid-century). The enameled metal and plastic machine featured blending, mixing, whisking, and chopping features among others.  Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.
    Braun AG's Multipurpose Kitchen Machine (shown here in blender configuration) was launched in 1957 as the one-stop cooking and baking appliance (the KitchenAid mixer of mid-century). The enameled metal and plastic machine featured blending, mixing, whisking, and chopping features among others.

    Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.

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  During the Swinging 60s--and fit for its time--American designer Kenneth Brozen designed this acrylic and aluminum serving bowl for Robinson, Lewis, and Rubin, Inc.  Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.
    During the Swinging 60s--and fit for its time--American designer Kenneth Brozen designed this acrylic and aluminum serving bowl for Robinson, Lewis, and Rubin, Inc.

    Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.

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  If you thought mobile, foldable, retractable kitchens were new, think again. In 1968, Italian company Snaidero unveiled its Spazio Vivo Mobile Kitchen Unit (pictured here in its closed configuration).  Courtesy of: Digital Image © 2010 MoMA, N.Y.
    If you thought mobile, foldable, retractable kitchens were new, think again. In 1968, Italian company Snaidero unveiled its Spazio Vivo Mobile Kitchen Unit (pictured here in its closed configuration).

    Courtesy of: Digital Image © 2010 MoMA, N.Y.

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  When opened, Snaidero's Mobile Kitchen Unit revealed a fridge, drawers, and ample cabinet space.  Courtesy of: Digital Image © 2010 MoMA, N.Y.
    When opened, Snaidero's Mobile Kitchen Unit revealed a fridge, drawers, and ample cabinet space.

    Courtesy of: Digital Image © 2010 MoMA, N.Y.

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  One of the most well-known icons of modern design is French designer Philippe Starck's Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer, designed in 1988. The spider-like utensil is made of P.T.F.E.-treated pressure cast aluminum and polyamide and manufactured by Italian kitchen company Alessi.  Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.
    One of the most well-known icons of modern design is French designer Philippe Starck's Juicy Salif Lemon Squeezer, designed in 1988. The spider-like utensil is made of P.T.F.E.-treated pressure cast aluminum and polyamide and manufactured by Italian kitchen company Alessi.

    Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.

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  Also designed by Starck is the Mister Meumeu Cheese Grater. Made of ABS plastic polymaid and stainless steel, the grate catches the cheese in the container and offers a horn (which becomes a spoon) to scoop it out.  Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.
    Also designed by Starck is the Mister Meumeu Cheese Grater. Made of ABS plastic polymaid and stainless steel, the grate catches the cheese in the container and offers a horn (which becomes a spoon) to scoop it out.

    Courtesy of: Digital Image © MoMA, N.Y.

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