What we have learnt from design curator Christian Larsen, an expert on Brazilian design and material culture, and guest speaker in this week's program Collecting Design, is that Brazilian furniture of the mid-century years is not only about the rich textured local hardwoods, but that it had first and foremost come to evoke local lifestyle, spirit, and culture. It beautifully exemplifies a marriage of modernist design principles, brought to Brazil from the European cradle of modernism by émigré architects and designers, as Joaquim Tenreiro from Portugal, Lina Bo Bardi from Italy, and Jorge Zalszupin from Poland, with indigenous crafts, and with the culture of the indigenous Indians, the Africans, and Portuguese who have formed modern Brazilian way of life. Mid-century Brazilian furniture was the last of this period's design to be discovered by the collectible world, largely thanks to Zesty Meyers of R & Company who began showing this material, investing in research, publication, and exhibition. This session on mid-century Brazilian design has marked the sixth in the program Collection Design at the Center for Architecture/AIA.
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