MoMA Multimedia


The Magic of Plywood

Thursday, November 3, 2011
12:30 p.m.

Form really does follow function with this most mundane of materials, one that inspired modern architects and designers to transform inexpensive industrial timber into wonders of good design in the 20th century. Beginning with a brief history of the medium and process, this talk—inspired by MoMA's exhibition Plywood: Material, Process, Form—highlights classic examples by Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Sori Yanagi, among others. We will see how designers turned this laminated, low-cost product into a metaphor for modern design's utopian premise: that good design should be affordable to all.

Marianne Eggler (PhD, ABD, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York) is an art historian and a specialist in the history of modern architecture and design, particularly in Weimar-era Germany. A gallery lecturer at MoMA since 1998, she teaches art history and design history courses at The City University of New York, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Parsons The New School for Design.

MoMA Talks: Brown Bag Lunch Lectures (81)

  1. William Kentridge. <i>Drawing from Stereoscope, “Untitled”.</i> 1998–99. Charcoal, pastel, and colored pencil on paper, 47 1/4 x 63" (120 x 160 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, with special contributions from Anonymous, Scott J. Lorinsky, Yasufumi Nakamura, and The Wider Foundation

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    The Art of Sahrawi Cooking

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    Kirchner and the Berlin Street

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    Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night

  6. Henri Cartier-Bresson. <i>Juvisy, France.</i> 1938. Gelatin silver print, printed 1947, 9 1/8 x 13 11/16" (23.3 x 34.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the photographer. © 2010 Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris

    The Modern Century

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    The High Rise and Decline of Low-Income Housing in America

  8. <i>Sweeney Todd.</i> 2007. USA/Great Britain. Directed by Tim Burton. Photo: Leah Gallo

    Tim Burton

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    Joan Miró's Influence on Graphic Design

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    Fabricating the Modern Dwelling

  11. Podcast tile: Talks

    Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Robert Smithson, James Turrell, and Others

  12. MoMA Talks: Brown Bag Lunch Lectures

    The Magic of Plywood

  13. Timothy Hursley

    New Activist Practices in Environmental Art

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    Olafur Eliasson

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    Wholeschooling, with Paul Bartow and J. Morgan Puett in conversation

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    From Pavel Tchelitchew's Hide-and-Seek to Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World

  18. Timothy Hursley

    Gabriel Orozco

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    Viennese Architecture and Design Between the Two World Wars

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    The Concrete and Neo-Concrete Movements in Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela

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    Commerce and Pop, 1950–68

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    Swarming and Self-Organization, with Brian Conley

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    Sol LeWitt

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    Chagall’s Nomadic Modernism

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    Are Games Art?

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    Building an Audience for Modern Art

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    On Meat and Mortality

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    Architecture, Popular Culture, and Communication

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    Geometry and the Birth of Modern Painting

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    Space, Time, and Architecture

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    The History of Public Art at Rockefeller Center

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    New Architectures of Social Engagement

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    The Creative Dialogue of the Leaders of the Russian Avant-Garde

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    Psychedelic Light Shows and the New Left Politics

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    A Tribute to Sol LeWitt (1928–2007)

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    Interrogating the Changing Artwork

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    Painting and Film. A Preview

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    Painting and Anti-Painting 1927–1937

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    Variations on a Theme Park

  52. Claude Monet
Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond
c. 1920

    Monet’s Water Lilies

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    Luigi Ontani’s 1970s Painted Photographs

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    Photographs by JoAnn Verburg

  56. Timothy Hursley

    Seven Projects by Peter and Alison Smithson

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    Lived, Constructed, and Imagined in the work of On Kawara, Alighiero e Boetti, and Yoko Ono

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    The Art of Agnes Denes, Mona Hatoum, and Richard Long

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  76. Jacob Lawrence. (American, 1917-2000). The trains were packed continually with migrants. 1940-41. Tempera on gesso on composition board, 18 x 12" (45.7 x 30.5 cm). Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy. © 2009 Jacob Lawrence

    Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series

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