Behind the Curtain. Mid-century design in divided Europe

The exhibition aims at presenting similarities and differences between mid-century design from both sides of the Iron Curtain, focusing on Polish design. Despite political and social distance, designers were inspired by similar aesthetics and trends, yet the way of executing their ideas was very different. While Western design objects were based on the best technology and high-quality materials, the East, with its government-controlled mass production, didn’t have to worry about the demand. The exhibition will show how these objects combine into astonishing, ingenious and consistent heritage.

Besides showing the comparison in objects per se, the exhibition will touch the topic of the heritage of mid-century era in Western and post-soviet countries, where the design, by default free from any statements, is inseparable from the political context of the era of its origins. We will examine the historical impact on the reception of the design and present the fast-growing trend of appreciating the pure form without the historical burden - in many cases for the first time ever.