Synopses & Reviews
Over the course of the past century, the kitchen, more than any other room in the modern dwelling, has been the focus of intensive aesthetic and technological innovation. Historically, European and American kitchens were often drab, poorly ventilated, and hidden from view in a basement or annex. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, however, the kitchen became a central concern of modernism and a testing ground for new materials and technologies. Since then, the room has come to articulate and at times actively challenge societal relationships to food, consumerism, the domestic role of women, and even international politics. Counter Space examines the twentieth-century transformation of the kitchen through the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, featuring a wide variety of design objects, architectural plans, posters, archival photographs and artworks--ranging from the iconic Frankfurt Kitchen, mass-produced for German public housing estates in the aftermath of World War I, to an electric tea kettle, heat-resistant glass wares, and colorful plastics, such as Tupperware and Japanese artificial food. With an introductory essay by Juliet Kinchin, Curator in MoMA's Department of Architecture and Design, this volume is a lively exploration of the kitchen as a barometer of changing technology, aesthetics, and ideologies.