Step inside children’s book Goodnight Moon in this immersive New York exhibition

Step inside children’s book Goodnight Moon in this immersive New York exhibition

New York collective Fort Makers presents Goodnight House, a collection of furniture and objects inspired by the popular children’s book Goodnight Moon and its iconic, colorful interiors

Popular children’s book Goodnight Moon is celebrated through a new design project by New York based artist collective Fort Makers; Goodnight House is an immersive exhibition inspired by the 1947 book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd.

The short illustrated poem about a young rabbit’s bedtime ritual (which includes repetitive, meditative goodnight wishes to the objects and pictures in the room as well as more abstract entities such as ‘nobody’ and ‘noises everywhere’) is set in a colorful room, whose green walls and red floors have since become legendary. The books’ illustrations include brightly coloured furniture such as a rocking chair and a red bed, a yellow table and stripy curtains. 

Goodnight Moon: from children’s classic to design icon

Goodnight Moon furniture
An installation view of Goodnight House, featuring a rug and upholstered bed by Liz Collins, a rocking chair and yellow table by Chiaozza, painting by Marcel Alcalá within a hand-carved picture frame by Nick DeMarco, and a dollhouse light, an eclipse sconce, and hand-carved wooden cubes by Fort Makers

Fort Makers invited a series of designers and studios to reinterpret the bunny’s bedroom through a modern lens, with practices whose work embraces the whimsical aesthetic and childlike curiosity inspired by the book. The exhibition presents a collection of contemporary interpretations of the iconic Goodnight Moon furniture and objects, as well as pieces inspired by its vivid colours and shapes. ‘We asked each artist to further rekindle their childlike understanding of the world around them, and create objects uninhibited by the horrors of adulthood,’ says Fort Makers Co-Founder and Creative Director Nana Spears. ‘What better remedy than comfort and play?’

Textile artist Liz Collins created an upholstered bed complete with handwoven textiles, ceramic artist Samuel Harvey contributed a table lamp, and designers Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao of Chiaozza created a yellow storage unit, as well as a rocking chair and table that offer a playful take on the book’s originals. Further objects include artist Nick DeMarco’s carved wooden spoons, candles by Janie Korn and Crying Clover and the book’s blue mantelpiece clock recreated by Keith Simpson.

Goodnight Moon furniture
The exhibition by Fort Makers includes a mantelpiece clock by ceramicist Keith Simpson, shown here alongside Goodnight Moon character-inspired candles by Janie Korn on hand-carved wooden cubes by Fort Makers

‘Since the advent of kindergarten, artists and designers have been absorbed with the power of play and the role it has in fostering creativity in both children and adults,’ adds co-founder Noah Spencer. ‘This power has always been at the forefront of Fort Makers’ design philosophy.’

When Goodnight Moon was first published in 1947, it was considered so progressive for a children’s book that the New York Public Library didn’t carry it for 25 years – but this didn’t stop it from becoming one of the most loved books of all time. ‘While subtly subversive, Goodnight Moon allows us to see through the eyes of a child, and instills in us essential tools for innovation,’ continues Spears. ‘That’s something worth celebrating.’ §

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