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Hung: A Century of Coat Racks

16 September - 2 December 2003


R 20th Century's Fall 2003 exhibition, "Hung: A Century of Coat Racks," is the first American survey to trace the history of one of the great unsung workhorses of modern domestic design. The coat racks animate the gallery in a setting designed by Claudia Dias. "Hung" casts a spotlight on the power of everyday functional objects to express dramatic form, surprise and delight.

Among highlights from "Hung" are Charles and Ray Eames' iconic "Hang it All" (1953), whose colorful atomic design winked at the obsessions of the day; the soft foam (1972) "Cactus" coat rack created by Italian designers Guido Drocco and Franco Mello to domesticate nature's most inaccessible form; and Verner Panton's rare wire coat rack created for Luber in 1971. R 20th Century owner Zesty Meyers discovered Bruce Tippett's "Renna" coat rack - an ingenious tree-like form with adjustable arms, designed in 1968 -- in Italy, where it was being used as a hanger for air-drying fresh hams. Such is the double life of one of the most beloved but under-recognized staples of design.

 

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