Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Review of Books published a longish essay I wrote on the Museum of Modern Art’s enornous, fascinating exhibition “Century of the Child: Growing By Design, 1900-2000,” curated by Juliet Kinchin and Aidan O’Connor. The exhibition, which includes over 500 objects from all fields of design, and is accompanied by a film series, runs through November 5. I had a rare struggle with the essay, torn between trying to discuss the themes of the exhibition, which are legion, and the trouble I had with its mode of presentation, which made those themes hard to surface. In the end, since most of the readers of LARB will not make it to MoMA, I decided to make a path through those 500 objects, highlighting about 20 that I thought told a story. That story was a melencholy one.
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