Ray Eames is often given her due when people talk about Charles as well as independently, but you don’t near nearly as much about Alvar Aalto’s wife, Aino Marsio-Aalto. Which is a shame because she was not just a designer but also an architect, a founder of Artek and a champion of modernism.
She’s getting her due in an exhibition that just opened at the Bard Graduate Center, though – Artek and the Aaltos: Creating a Modern World, which will run through September 25, 2016.
Artek and the Aaltos: Creating a Modern World is the first exhibition in the United States to examine Artek, a pioneering Finnish design company founded in 1935, and the first to have a specific focus on the two architect co-founders, Alvar Aalto (1898–1976) and Aino Marsio-Aalto (1894–1949). The exhibition considers the Aaltos’ shared practice through the lens of this groundbreaking company, whose under-recognized and multifaceted mission far exceeded its manufacturing of bentwood furniture designed by Alvar Aalto, for which the firm is best known. It also offers for the first time a specific analysis of Artek’s distinct international role as a disseminator of modernism in art, architecture, interiors, furniture, and other modern products.
About 200 works will be on display – many of which have never been publicly shown before. We’re kind of jealous because we’ve been to Jyväskylä and yet our NY friends will get to see stuff we haven’t seen. So you should definitely go if you’re proximal – there’s much more to Aino and Alvar than glass vases and tank chairs.