© The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (Austrian, 1897-2000). Frankfurt Kitchen from the Ginnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (reconstruction).Despite the years I spent working in art museums, I often still wait until the closing weekend to make it out to see an exhibition—and then I invariably regret my procrastination. Lucky for me, though, recent out-of-town guests motivated me to visit Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC long before its March 14, 2011, closing date. Truthfully, I feared a dull history of kitchen appliances, but the show was a fascinating look at how cultural events shape our culinary environment—and vice versa. Long before Ikea came on the scene, for example, the post-WWI-era Frankfurt Kitchen was designed to maximize efficiency by using every inch of available storage space. After seeing all the amazing kitchenware in the galleries, I couldn’t resist hitting MOMA’s great gift shop. My favorite pieces at the store: a gorgeous Zucch Sugar Pourer by Alessi and funky retro Margrethe Prep Bowls by Acton Bjoern.