“Living with Craft” was a week-long exhibit at the American Craft Museum (now the Museum of Arts and Design) that featured unique room settings by top designers incorporating museum-quality contemporary craft. The purpose of the exhibit was to increase an appreciation of craft among interior designers and design editors and to demonstrate the value of interior designers in beautifully incorporating craft objects into the home. The editors of a number of leading interior design magazines served on the advisory board. The editors of House Beautiful, Elle Décor, Interior Design, and Metropolis also participated in a panel discussion called “What Role does Craft Play in Interior Design and Architecture Today?” led by David McFadden, Chief Curator of the museum. Mr. McFadden described the exhibit far more eloquently than anyone else could:
“Ten talented designers representing the diversity of approaches in interior design today, are brought together to explore how craft and craftsmanship inform, inspire, and enlighten our appreciation of our domestic environment.
These designers use clay, glass, fiber, wood, metal, and mixed media with finesse and skill to create a series of memorable and striking environments. For them, craftsmanship is paramount. While uniquely individual in their approaches, these designers share a love of superbly made objects. Each vignette reveals the designer's personal approach to the setting, background, and context for fine craft. In their designs, they present compelling juxtapositions of color, texture, and shape that remind us that craft is not a "product," but a way of thinking.”
The exhibit was a joint effort of the museum and the New York Metropolitan Chapter of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and took place during the National ASID conference in New York City. In addition to designers who already had close ties to the museum, all 1400 allied and professional members of the local ASID chapter were invited to submit their portfolios to be considered for designing vignettes.
The theme of Interior Design Solutions’ room setting, “All About Eve,” was inspired by Peter Spadone’s Copperhead Table, which incorporated a realistic carved snake and abstract scales on the top. Apples pour out of a hammered copper vessel by Herve Wahlen's beneath the table, and a small watercolor by leading botanical artist Jessica Tcherepnine sits on top of the table.