MoMA Installs Some ‘Counter Space’

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Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky's Frankfurt Kitchen.
Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky's Frankfurt Kitchen. Photo: Courtesy MoMA

The kitchen takes center stage at the Museum of Modern Art this week with the opening of their latest exhibit, "Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen." The retrospective takes an artistic view of the post-servant home kitchen over the past century, a room "previously hidden from view in a basement or annex," MoMA explains, which "became a bridgehead of modern thinking in the domestic sphere … A testing ground for new materials, technologies, and power sources, and a spring board for the rational reorganization of space and domestic labor within the home."

Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky's Frankfurt Kitchen.
Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky's Frankfurt Kitchen. Photo: Courtesy MoMA

That translates into displays of items ranging from the first brown paper bag (designed in 1883), to the hourglass-shaped Kikkoman soy sauce dispenser, to Andy Warhol’s Brillo-box screen prints — not to mention what the New York Times describes as "a stupendous recent acquisition: one of the last surviving examples of a relatively complete Frankfurt Kitchen designed in 1926-27 by Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (1897-2000), Austria’s first female architect." The show (which is cheekily sponsored by Silestone Quartz Surfaces — they produce, yes, counter space) is up through March 14, 2011.

Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen [MoMA]
The Heart That Beats, Heats, Chills and Whips [NYT]