The Nature of Design
Explores the work and philosophy of renowned industrial designer Russel Wright, whose former home in the Hudson Valley—Manitoga—is now a national historic landmark.
Winner of the 2014 Award for Excellence presented by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network
This catalogue was published by the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz in conjunction with the exhibition Russel Wright: The Nature of Design, curated by Donald Albrecht and Dianne Pierce, on display at the Dorsky from August 29, 2012 through March 10, 2013. The exhibition and catalogue explore the work and philosophy of renowned industrial designer Russel Wright, focusing on one of Wright's most pervasive preoccupations, which also has much relevance today: the relationship of humankind with the natural world. While examining Wright's entire career from the 1920s through the 1970s, the catalogue focuses on his work between 1945 and 1968, when Wright increasingly designed in experimental and innovative ways. A special component of the exhibition—Man and Nature in the Hudson Valley, organized by Kerry Dean Carso—provides a historical context for Russel Wright's designs and his interest in natural forms.
The fully illustrated catalogue features essays by co-curators Donald Albrecht and Dianne Pierce and by Kerry Dean Carso. The catalogue also includes images and text from a slide talk developed in the 1960s by Russel Wright to promote his philosophy of modern living and the importance of maintaining a close relationship to nature.
Donald Albrecht has curated exhibitions that have ranged from overviews of cultural trends to profiles of individual design firms and artists. He teaches in the Masters Program in the Decorative Arts at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and lectures frequently about architecture and design at other institutions. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. Dianne Pierce is the former Museum Education Director at Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center. She teaches the history of design at the State University of New York at New Paltz, and art and design history at Parsons The New School for Design.