By May 5, 2014 Read More →

ArchitectureView – Modesto Design Week


By Bob Barzan

Modesto Design: the city is our collection, the neighborhoods are our galleries

Over the last eight years, the Modesto Art Museum has uncovered our awesome architectural heritage. Everyone had forgotten that the city once had a national reputation in building and landscape design, a reputation that was more celebrated away from Modesto than here. Recently, ModestoView has uncovered Modesto’s exciting rock music legacy. We had forgotten that our city played an important role in the development of the beat of rock and roll. That heritage is also more appreciated away from Modesto. You have to go to a Seattle museum to see Fred Maddox’s bass. The same is true with Modesto’s movie contributions; except for George Lucas, mostly forgotten.

Now, the Modesto Art Museum is uncovering a heritage in design that is remarkable and ongoing and celebrated in its exhibit Modesto Design, April 29 to June 8th at the McHenry Museum. The first patent from Modesto is for a windmill dated 1873, and that was the beginning of a stream of patents and designs that continues to the present. The exhibition covers the spectrum of design disciplines from fashion to graphic, industrial to interior, and includes original designs and inventions for everything from furniture, machinery, plants, tools, toys, typography and tattoos. It might surprise some people to learn that an automobile was designed and patented in Modesto in 1902, making it among the earliest in the country.

The exhibition will overlap Modesto Design Week, May 10-17, a week of tours, exhibits, movies, and special events celebrating design in the city’s newly designated design district. Working with Artplace America, Modesto Art Museum has designated a 12 block area of downtown between 10th and 16th and I to K, the Modesto Design District, an area of more than 70 shops, organizations, museums, restaurants, and cafes where you can experience design of all kinds. The area is our second neighborhood gallery. The first is the Wisecarver-Coldwell neighborhood near Graceada Park.

For full details on all the events in the design district, check out the museum web site



Posted in: featured, stage & art

About the Author: