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Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America opening at the DAM

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Play: coming to a museum near you!

Specifically:  Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America at the Denver Art Museum. This new exhibit opens May 5 and is a part of the overall #SummerofPlay2019 at the DAM.  The cost is included in general admission which is free for kids 18 and under every day.

Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America presents the concept of playfulness in postwar American design as a catalyst for creativity and innovation. This exhibition explores how employing playfulness allowed designers to bring fresh ideas to the American home, children’s toys and play spaces, and corporate identities.

DAM has incorporated several invitations to play throughout the exhibition and in the last room, the Free Play Zone. 

Invitations to Play

As part of the Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America exhibition, visitors of all ages are invited to explore how play can push their own creativity. Opportunities for playfulness abound in the exhibition, including stations to spin toy tops, build with the Eamses’ House of Cards, arrange a midcentury room on a digital table, and assemble the vinyl shapes in a classic Colorforms set.

There is an entire room dedicated to playing. In the Free Play Zone at the end of the exhibition, try on bold masks and bring them to life in a colorful theater, climb on a wavy playscape by sculptor Isamu Noguchi, and creatively combine the pieces of the Tyng Toy.

There are also delightful videos by Charles and Ray Eames to enjoy along the way as you explore the exhibition: Tops, Parade, Solar-Do-Nothing Machine, and Toccata for Toy Trains.

Serious Play is co-curated by Darrin Alfred, curator of architecture and design at the DAM, and Monica Obniski, Demmer Curator of 20th and 21st Century Design at the Milwaukee Art Museum.


Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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