True Nordic: How Scandinavia influenced design in Canada @ the Gardiner Museum

October 13, 2016 to January 8, 2017

Produced by the Gardiner Museum and curated by Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow

Exhibition design by Andrew Jones Design / Graphic design by q30 design inc.

This landmark exhibition explores more
than seven decades of Nordic aesthetic influence in Canadian design.
Examining the ways that modern Scandinavian design was introduced to
Canada and how its aesthetic principles and material forms were adopted
and adapted by Canadian artisans and designers, True Nordic will present a comprehensive, critical survey of Canadian furniture, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, and glassware. 

Scandinavian design initially reached
Canada’s elite consumers and style-makers via museum and gallery
exhibitions, showrooms, small retail shops and articles and
advertisements in popular decorator magazines. However, it was the
dynamic influx of émigré craftspeople from Scandinavia who both affirmed
and vernacularized the aesthetic in Canada and who shaped profoundly
the country’s design and craft movement from the 1930s onward. What was
broadly known as “Danish modern” became synonymous with ideas about good
design, and “comfortable and gracious living.” Capitalizing on the
market opportunities presented, Canadian manufacturers added
Scandinavian design to their conservative repertoire of colonial and
historicist offerings and called these lines, Helsinki, Stanvanger,
Scanda and so on. The culminating section of the exhibition will ask why
Scandinavian and Nordic aesthetics continue to resonate with so many
contemporary Canadian designers and artisans at work today.

Featured artisans include: Carl Poul
Petersen, Ernst and Alma  Lorenzen, Janis Kravis, John Stene, Karen
Bulow, Kjeld and Erica Deichmann, Lotte Bostlund, Thor Hansen, Rudolph
Renzius,  Sigrun Bulow-Hube, Ruth Gowdy McKinley, Niels Bendtsen, Sean
Place, Mjolk, Stephanie Forsythe, and Todd MacAllen. 
For more info and related events:

movie day: Clay Intersections with Bridget Bodenham + Panel Discussion info

Clay Intersections: Bridget Bodenham from Australian Design Centre on Vimeo.

Bridget will be presenting The New Market with Cone 11 Ceramics + Design Studio‘s,
Ilona Topolcsanyi and Colin Hopkins on Wednesday 7 September, 6 –
8pm.They’ll discuss the different ways they’ve built strong customer
bases by fostering a direct approach to selling, commissioning and
working collaboratively.

This panel discussion is for makers, designers or anyone interested in approaches to productive design practices.

Live streamed panel discussion online this sunday!

Join Adam Field (@adamfieldpottery), Michael Kline (@klineola), Paul Blais (@pdblais),
Joseph Travis (@redfoxpottery), and myself – Carole
Epp (@musingaboutmud) for an
international live-streamed panel discussion on social media in the clay

This Sunday, July 19th, 5pm EST. 

There are a few tiny hoops to
jump through to view and join the conversation; go to for info. This event is free and open to the public. Tell a friend and we hope to see you there!!!

Please send us your questions before hand as well to


Panel Discussion and Dinner in the Gallery

1315 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams


1315 MASS MoCA Way

Collecting ceramics from George Ohr to Ai Weiwei — join specialists
Suzanne Perrault, David Rago, and Daniel Farrell for a panel discussion
moderated by Leslie Ferrin about provenance, connoisseurship, and values
in ceramics, pottery, and porcelain from 1900 to the present.

Guests will have a chance to view the exhibition, GLAZED &
DIFFUSED, before the panel discussion and afterwards during a wine and
cheese reception in the gallery.

6:30 pm | DISH+DINE

1315 MASS MoCA Way
$75. Space is limited. Registration deadline is July 14.

Enjoy this dinner event in the gallery with collectors, artists, and
the panelists. Gramercy Bistro, MASS MoCA’s in-house bistro, will serve
modern fare made from locally-sourced food. Ceramic artist Michael
McCarthy will provide the handmade dinnerware.


movie day: Handmade in an Information Age

This one will require an entire pot of coffee and maybe a few energy drinks : )

Critical Information Conference 2012 at the School of Visual Arts: Handmade in an Information Age Panel from MFA Art Crit on Vimeo.
Sponsored by the MFA Art Criticism & Writing program
Respondent: Carina Badalamenti (Student) and Susan Bee (SVA Faculty)

The ability to connect in a media-based, networked age gives artists new reasons to blur, accentuate or erase the line between the actual and the virtual. Choosing one method over another becomes an aesthetic choice with political implications. Using art historical examples to provide context, this conversation will reconsider the often polarizing discourses routinely associated with handmade materials in an Information Age.

• Andrew Buck, The Culture of Art and the Nature of Craft (Teachers College, Columbia University, Program in Art and Art Education, Ed.D. Candidate)

• Pamela L. Campanaro, Labors of Language: Crafting the Revival of Medium in Contemporary Art (The San Francisco Art Institute, Exhibition & Museum Studies, MA)

• Michele Krugh, Pleasure in Labor: The Human and Economic Aspects of Craft (George Mason University, Cultural Studies, PhD Candidate)

• Petya I. Trapcheva-Kwan, The Symbiosis of Traditional and Digital Techniques (School of Visual Arts, Computer Art, MFA)