D Is for Design
An array of drawings by designers from A to Z
Design drawings are among the hidden treasures of the MFA’s collection, and this exhibition displays nearly 30 works on paper, each representing a different artist, architect, or designer in an alphabet of design from the 16th through the 20th centuries. A is for Ashbee: a design for a ring by the Arts and Crafts designer and social reformer C. R. Ashbee; L is for La Farge: a design for stained glass by the artist and designer John La Farge; and R is for Rossi: an architectural model by the renowned 20th-century Italian architect Aldo Rossi. The surprising juxtaposition of unrelated but visually compelling designs for architecture, theater, stained glass, furniture, jewelry and silver, and textiles—many of which are rarely, if ever, on view—presents an opportunity for visitors to engage with questions surrounding design, from technical to artistic.
Above: Donald Oenslager, The Matchless Mine, 1956. Opaque watercolor, collage, mixed media. Ellen Kelleran Gardner Fund.