On exhibit October 9, 2015 through March 20, 2016
Stimulated by thinking at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, modern architecture shaped the landscape of Cambridge and Boston’s western suburbs from the 1930s to the 1960s and beyond. Architects such as Walter Gropius and Carl Koch, experimented with modern forms, new materials, and innovative technology as tools for developing high-quality homes for themselves and others. They create modern homes that appealed to members of the region’s academic and research communities who sought inexpensive homes for their young families that took advantage of scenic views in the former farmlands of Concord, Lincoln, and Lexington.
Middlesex County Modern, an innovative exhibition organized by the Concord Museum, explores modern architecture in this region and its impact on design and the community. The exhibition focuses on local purpose-built modern neighborhoods such as Conantum in Concord and iconic buildings such as Gropius House in Lincoln, as well as key agents in the spread of modern architecture, including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, The Architects’ Collaborative (TAC), and Design Research, architect Ben Thompson’s “lifestyle store.”
Accompanied by a rich menu of public programs for all ages, this innovative exhibition seeks to inspire new fans of Concord’s mid-century chapter by exploring the enduring values that shaped modern architecture: social consciousness, sympathy with nature and harmony between the technical and the artistic elements. The exhibition focuses on modern homes in Concord, Lincoln, Lexington, and surrounding towns with a look at pioneering forms, materials, and furnishings that had a lasting influence.
Middlesex County Modern is made possible by
Phillips Fine Paint & Design
Susan and Greg Zacharias
With Special Thanks
Circle Furniture, First Rugs, Machine Age, Matteson & Associates
Above image: Adams House, Concord, 1947. Architect: Hugh Stubbins. Photograph ©Ezra Stoller / Esto.
Please check back for more programs.
Members' Preview and Reception for Middlesex County Modern
Thursday, October 8 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Join us at the opening of Middlesex County Modern. 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.; free to Concord Museum members and invited guests. R.S.V.P. (978) 369-9763, ext. 216 or email@example.com.
Middlesex Modern House Tour
Saturday, October 10 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Discover midcentury modern houses in Belmont, Lincoln, Weston, Concord, and Carlisle on this distinctive tour of seven private homes, all generously opened by homeowners with an appreciation of modern design and living. Architects represented include Walter Bogner, Carl Koch, Edwin Goodell, Marvin Goody, and John Quincy Adams. Participants will be greeted by volunteers at each home on this self-paced tour. Light refreshments will be available at the Concord Museum from 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Presented in cooperation with program partners Docomomo US and FoMA/Lincoln. 10:00-4:00; Members of the Concord Museum, Docomomo, or FoMA/Lincoln, and Students: $70, Non-Members: $85. Reservations required, but day of tickets available. Purchase tickets online.
Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m.
Wendy Kaplan, Department Head and Curator, Decorative Arts and Design, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), presents California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way.” Ms. Kaplan will explore how a regional style of architecture and design emerged in California after World War II, and how it was translated into a material culture that defined an era. Just as architects and designers from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design shaped the landscape of Cambridge and Boston's western suburbs in the middle of the 20th century using native New England materials combined with new technology, materials developed in California influenced European émigré architects, native designers, and transplants from other parts of the United States who responded to California’s special conditions: a benevolent climate, informal lifestyle, and pervasive optimism.
Free; 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in French Hall; reservations required, space is limited, reserve online or by calling (978) 369-9763, ext. 216. Priority registration for Concord Museum Members through October 1. A reception will follow the lecture.
Admission-Free Evening Hours
Thursday, October 22 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Thinking Modern? Enthusiasts of modern homes and neighborhoods are invited to visit the new exhibition Middlesex County Modern and enjoy an informal gallery talk by Guest Curator Rebecca Migdal. Free; 5:00-8:00 p.m.; light refreshments will be served. This special admission-free evening is sponsored by Acorn Deck House Company.
Gropius House Tour: Members-Only Event
Sunday, November 1 from 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Discover Gropius House after dark on an exclusive, Concord Museum Members-only tour of the modern masterpiece. Walter Gropius, founder of the German design school known as the Bauhaus, was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. His 1938 home showcases the clean, contemporary lines of Modern design. During this evening house tour, see how Gropius's innovative lighting scheme comes to life at night. 5:00 - 6:30 pm; $10 per person; reservations required: online or by calling (978) 369-9763, ext. 211.
Living Modern Seminar
Saturday, November 14 from 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Explore modern living—indoors and out—in this full-day seminar designed for those who live in a modern house or wish they did! Learn about living modern from the experts: architect Gary Wolf, historic paint specialist Sally Zimmerman, interior designer Diane Burcz, landscape designer Lisa Giersbach, textile curator and consultant Susan Ward, and more. Lunch and a gallery talk of Middlesex County Modern with Guest Curator Rebecca Migdal are included. 9:00-3:30; $75 Members, $85 Non-Members; reservations required. Sponsored by Phillips Fine Paint & Design. Purchase tickets online.
Thursday, January 14 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Enjoy a midcentury modern evening at the Concord Museum complete with 1960s-inspired cocktails and appetizers with the authors of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin. The authors will share their experiences crafting their successful cookbook and look back at the impact of the landmark series. Visit the Middlesex County Modern exhibition and view housewares and furnishings that reflect how locals experienced midcentury modern living. $20 Concord Museum Members, $25 Non-Members. Purchase tickets online.
Family Design Day: Design Your Dream Room with architects from BSA Space
February 13, 2016 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Families will explore the exhibit Middlesex County Modern to learn about the features and principles of modern architecture, then design their own dream room using recycled materials. In this hands-on workshop, children and adults will observe, explore, and design together. This family program is designed for parents and children aged five to 13.
Modern Appraisal Day with Skinner, Inc.
March 5, 2016
Curious how much your favorite midcentury modern treasures might be worth? Bring your items to be appraised by an expert from Skinner, Inc.