The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) is “dedicated to craft across all forms of contemporary creative practice, from traditional techniques to cutting edge technologies.”
MAD “explores the value of making.” Thus, a primary focus of its activities and exhibits is the “creative process by which materials are transformed.” Consequently, MAD's exhibits tend to be non-traditional, varied and cutting edge.
This museum began in 1956 as the Museum of Contemporary Crafts under the patronage of Aileen Osborn Webb. In 1967, it reopened at 44 West 53rd Street as the American Craft Museum. The need for more space led the museum to move to 40 West 53rd in 1986.
In 2002, the Museum changed its name to the Museum of Arts and Design “reflect the institution’s increasingly interdisciplinary collections.”
MAD's current home is at 2 Columbus Circle. This building was originally designed by Edward Durell Stone to house the Gallery of Modern Art (popularly known as the “Huntington Hartford Museum”). After the Gallery of Modern Art closed in 1969, the building went through a number of owners and was finally given to the City Of New York. In 2002, the building was acquired by MAD.
A controversy ensued over MAD's plans to renovate the building. In addition to interior changes, MAD planned to replace the building's marble facade with a glass and terra cotta tile facade. However, it was strongly argued that the building should be designated a landmark and its Venetian-inspired design preserved. However, the City refused to so designate the building and MAD's renovations were carried out.
MAD's new home opened in 2008. It contains more than 54,000 squar4e feet of exhibit space. It has four floors with galleries that host rotating special exhibitions as well as the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, a groundbreaking center for the presentation and study of studio jewelry. There is also a floor containing artist studios where visitors to the museum can talk with and interact with artists. In addition, MAD has a theater, a store and a restaurant with views over Central Park.
For information on visiting, see MAD's website.
Places to see art - - New York City - - Whitney Museum of American Art