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Carnegie presents things ordinary, extraordinary

Carnegie Museum of Art unveils “Extraordinary Ordinary Things,” a major reinstallation of the museum’s 8,000-square-foot Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries, on Saturday.

Featuring more than 300 objects, including some 150 recent acquisitions from the museum’s expansive collection, “Extraordinary Ordinary Things” presents a selection of pieces ranging from the evocative and extraordinary to the practical and every day.

As many people’s relationships to their homes and the objects within them take on increased relevance and deeper meaning due to sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, “EOT” is designed as a timely and dynamic exhibition that showcases all facets of material and product design, from traditional techniques to innovative technologies.

The show highlights signature works by lauded designers, including Tanya Aguiniga, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Charles and Ray Eames, Frank Gehry, Michael Graves, Zaha Hadid, Molly Hatch, Thomas Heatherwick, Joris Laarman, Isamu Noguchi, Magdalene Odundo, Jay Sae Jung Oh, Charlotte Perriand, Raw-Edges, Studio DRIFT, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Eva Zeisel.

Spanning some of the most significant design developments of the past three centuries (modernism, hand craft revival, the emergence of digital designs), the works on view offer boundless inspiration and endless possibilities for functional design for visitors to learn about, consider and enjoy.

According to Rachel Delphia, the museum’s Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, “‘Extraordinary Ordinary Things’ celebrates the beauty of design — and leverages the familiarity of the objects featured to prompt visitors to reflect on their relationships to material things.”

Extraordinary Ordinary Things marks the first significant update to the galleries since 2009.

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