On July 16, 2020, the Vancouver Art Gallery presented a virtual preview of our newest exhibition “Modern in the Making: Post-War Craft and Design in British Columbia,” on view from July 18, 2020, to January 3, 2021. In this presentation, Daina Augaitis, Interim Director, and Allan Collier, Guest Curator, provide an overview of the exhibition through a selection of objects.
Featuring over 300 works, “Modern in the Making” examines the furniture, ceramics, textiles, fashion and jewellery that defined West Coast modern living in the mid-twentieth century. In the three decades following the Second World War, thousands of people immigrated to British Columbia seeking the benefits of its resource-based economy, mild climate, natural amenities and inventive spirit. This optimistic post-war environment fostered the development of exceptional design and craft practices, deeply influenced by the tenets of modernism: simplicity, fine craftsmanship and functional design for everyday use. The most comprehensive view of mid-century craft and design from this region assembled to date, the exhibition reveals how local histories, immigration patterns and materials impacted interpretations of modernism in British Columbia, while also recognizing this cultural movement’s inherent ties to colonial expansion.
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