Summertime in New York City often sees the return of many outdoor film series. From lawns and piers to rooftops with a view, it’s almost possible to catch a cinematic favourite on most nights during the week.
This year, the Museum of Arts and Design has gone in on the game with its own run entitled Midcentury Masters, with films focusing on the work and lives of Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller, Lina Bo Bardi and Harry Bertoia, whose work is currently installed in two exhibitions at the institution.
Starting this week and continuing to the end of the month, the films include Charles and Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter – a documentary narrated by James Franco that traces the careers and wide-ranging output of the Eames, The World of Buckminster Fuller, which offers a rare view into the thinking and creative force of Fuller and his geodesic domes, The New World of Lina Bo Bardi – a four-minute short film by architect Ouida Angelica Biddle that features hand-drawn images based on Bo Bardi’s own sketches and buildings, and Precise Poetry – an expansive set of interviews shot on the eve of Bo Bardi’s 100th birthday and chronicles her life through the eyes of friends and colleagues. There’s also Harry Bertoia: Sculpture, which is an abstract study of Bertoia’s work that’s set to a soundtrack by Bertoia himself.
'We wanted to contextualise Bertoia's interdisciplinary practice among a broader group of historical peers working through similar concerns in the mid-20th century,’ says Katerina Llanes, the museum's public programs manager, who curated the film programme. ‘Hopefully, the films will provide audiences with new ways of understanding Bertoia's work and capture the zeitgeist of that particular generation.'