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The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design collects international design from 1900 to the present and promotes scholarly research in the design and decorative arts field by engaging in a diversity of curatorial projects—including exhibitions, catalogues, films, and digital initiatives—that explore important aspects of 20th- and 21st-century design.

Upcoming Project

Traveling Exhibition
Modern Design: Midcentury to Today

Greta Von Nessen
Anywhere Lamp
Designed 1951
Aluminum, enameled steel
Produced by Nessen Studio, Inc., New York, New York


Focusing on modern design, this traveling exhibition will explore the movement’s ongoing strength as well as its changing character. It features 120 objects from the United States, Italy, Japan, France and Germany in a range of media including furniture, ceramics, metalwork, graphics, and textiles. The four themes of Modern Design illustrate the contrasting viewpoints of modernism. The Good Design theme features the classics of the mid-century while the Post Modernism theme, with designs of the 1980s and 90s, represents a shift away from mid-century simplicity. The third theme, Neomodern design, demonstrates a pared-down return to the principles of Good Design with objects from the end of the century to the present day. The final theme, Responsible Design, deals with growing concerns about the environment, universal design and politics. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the Stewart Program Collection and curated by David A. Hanks, Curator of the Stewart Program.

Modern Design will tour North America starting in 2022. The exhibition is organized by the Stewart Program for Modern Design and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

Current Project

Partners in Design: A Journey Into Good Design

Naoto Fukasawa
Pop-Up Toaster
Designed 2015
Plastic, chromium-plated steel, rubber
Produced by Muji, Toshima, Tokyo, Japan
Fukasawa’s toaster design for Muji perfectly conforms to the midcentury mandates of Good Design: a minimal, unadorned design clearly expressing its function. 

The virtual exhibition is the second phase of a project that began with an object-based traveling exhibition and catalogue, Partners in Design: Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson, which focused on how the Museum of Modern Art’s first director and curator introduced modernism to North America and helped define “Good Design.” extends the reach of the traveling exhibition, focusing on the concept of Good Design and the role of design in daily life. This website makes the principles of Good Design accessible to a broad international audience and includes a list of 100 significant architecture and design sites to visit in Canada. was developed with the support of the Virtual Exhibits Investment Program, Virtual Museum of CanadaThe project was executed in collaboration with Toast Studio, a Montreal-based branded-content agency, and digital-production firm Parkour3, a Montreal-based marketing and digital production company.