Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller at the Everson Museum of Art

The Everson Museum of Art is pleased to announce that long awaited exhibition Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller will open to the public on Saturday, August 14, 2010. The exhibition will remainon view through October 17, 2010.

The interpretive exhibition explores the collaborative problem-solving design process employed at the world-renowned furniture company, Herman Miller, Inc., using vintage and contemporary product displays, storyboard installations, and audiovisual recorded interviews modern masters of design.

Herman Miller, 2000, Marshmallow Sofa, Herman Miller for the Home/Nelson Office

“This exhibition really asks the questions about how good design explores, inquires, engages and endures,” said Steven Kern, Everson Museum of Art Executive Director. “The stories told through the Herman Miller design process offer inspiration as to how we can all adapt, change and challenge ourselves in our everyday lives.”
Muskegon Museum of Art Executive Director Judith A. Hayner’s long-standing interest in modern design sparked a dream of showcasing original designed artifacts along with their drawings and prototypes. “With Herman Miller operating in our back yard, it is important for the Museum to hold up and examine the process of design as it’s been practiced in West Michigan for nearly eight decades. We decided to focus on case studies that explore design problems and solutions created by some of the talented artists who have created masterpieces of modern design for the company, and continue to do so today.”

The inspiration for the exhibition came from the recent book Herman Miller: the Purpose of Design by design scholar and authority John R. Berry, who is also the exhibition’s guest curator. The Henry Ford made available the vast resources of it’s Herman Miller Design Collection, most of which has never before been on public view.

Commenting on the idea behind the exhibition, Mr. Berry observed, “Many people are confused by the difference between art and design. Design is a noun, a verb, and a problem solving process. It is art with a purpose. Good design requires a clear understanding of the particular need, conditions, constraints, and opportunities. Good design does not happen in a vacuum.”

“At Herman Miller, design is the means and the end,” said Berry. “It is the starting point and the destination. Since 1931, not long after its founding, Herman Miller had embraced design as a way to improve people’s lives, and through that goal, they created new industries and some of the most iconic objects of the last century. Charles and Ray Eames’s molded plywood Lounge Chair, George Nelson’s Marshmallow Sofa, and Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick’s Aeron Chair which populates so many offices today, are all products of Herman Miller, Inc.”

Public tours are available on Saturdays at 2 p.m. These tours are complimentary with exhibition admission, and no reservation is required. K-12 school tours will be offered at no charge, must be booked in advance through the Education Department.

This exhibition is organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art, Michigan, in collaboration with The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, through the support of Herman Miller, Inc.
This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the Syracuse Center of Excellence and is made possible in part by Sedgwick Business Interiors.

Media sponsorship is provided by CBS 5 WTVH and Sunny 102 FM.
Ticket prices are as follows: FREE for Everson members; $10 for non-members; $8 for children under 18, college students (with ID), Military (with ID) and seniors (65+); and $30 for the family rate (includes two adults and four dependents). Children age five and under are free. A discount is available for group tours of 10 or more, and must be scheduled in advance.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at, or during the exhibition at the Everson Ticket Desk. The Everson online ticketing system allows visitors to pre-order their tickets, and avoid lines at the ticket desk. Tickets ordered before August 1, 2010 will be mailed. To purchase tickets to Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller, click the “tickets” button on the Everson’s homepage.

A Member’s Opening Night Reception is planned for Friday, August 13, 2010. From 5:30 – 8 p.m., Everson members and guests are invited to celebrate the arrival of Good Design: Stories from Herman Miller, and The Edge of Art: New York State Artists Series: Designed to Scale at this cool and colorful summer bash with Brian Trinca spinning the tunes. Enjoy light hors d’oeuvres by Diamond Catering and cash bar before previewing the exhibitions. This reception is free for Everson members, $10 non-members at the door.

For more information, visit or call (315) 474-6064. The Everson is also on Facebook,, and Twitter,

The Everson Museum of Art, whose roots extend to 1897, is internationally recognized for its extensive and significant collection of ceramics, its pioneering art video collection and its distinctive structural design by the noted architect I.M. Pei. As the first museum devoted to collecting American art, the Everson uses this focus to make possible direct encounters with all art through its collections, exhibitions, scholarship, and educational programs. In addition to exhibitions, the Everson presents a monthly Contemporary Film Series, regular Artists Open events and a wide variety of art education programs for adults and children.
The operation of the Everson Museum of Art is made possible with funding from the Dorothy and Marshall M. Reisman Foundation, County of Onondaga, the Central New York Community Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

Everson Museum of Art
401 Harrison Street
Syracuse, New York 13202
Tel (315) 474 6064
Fax (315) 474 6943

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