This exhibition was on display from April 28, 2016 to March 12, 2017.

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Energizing the Everyday: Gifts From the George R. Kravis II Collection
Energizing the Everyday celebrates the collecting vision of George R. Kravis II and its synergy with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum's broad and diverse collection of modern and contemporary design. An early interest in records and a background in broadcasting inform Kravis's enthusiasm for and knowledge of radios, televisions, and technology. As Kravis's passion for design grew, he expanded his collecting efforts beyond American electronic devices to include industrial design and furnishings for the home and office from America, Europe, and Asia. This exhibition showcases highlights of the Kravis collection dating from the early 20th century to the present. From industrial design and furniture to tableware and textiles, the exhibition makes visual and material connections across time and geography.
As a collector, Kravis is interested in the object's user, purpose, process, and manufacturing while also considering form and substance. The good design of these objects enhanced the day-to-day activities of the home and workplace, as well as during travel and leisure. The rigid geometry of Norman Bel Geddes's skyscraper-like ca.1931 Manhattan Cocktail Set, the humor of Cesare Cassati's and C. Emanuele Ponzio's 1968 Pillola Lamps, and the social concerns reflected in Olafur Eliasson's Little Sun Solar Powered LED Lantern of 2012 are among the many historic and contemporary themes enlivened in Energizing the Everyday.

  • Patriot Radio, 1940
  • cast phenolic resin (opalon), molded urea plastic, molded cellulose acetate,....
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2014-10-1
  • Jug, ca. 1905
  • stoneware.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2018-22-52
  • T-3-C Table Lamp, 1951
  • spun aluminum, enameled aluminum, stainless steel rods, cork.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2018-22-53
  • Embryo Chair Chair, 1988
  • polished aluminum, molded polyurethane foam covered in neoprene.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2016-5-12
  • Armchair, 1976
  • assembled laminated plate glass.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2018-22-58
  • Slice Armchair, 1999
  • laser-cut, assembled and laminated plywood.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2018-22-63