David Revere McFadden
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He served for two years as Executive Director of the Millicent Rogers Museum of Northern New Mexico in Taos, New Mexico. From 1978 to 1995, McFadden served as Curator of Decorative Arts and Assistant Director for Collections and Research at Cooper–Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. McFadden did his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Minnesota, and received his graduate degree in the History of Art (Renaissance and Baroque Studies), with a secondary major in Chinese history. He served for six years as President of the International Council of Museums Decorative Arts and Design Committee.
McFadden has organized more than one hundred exhibitions on decorative arts, design and craft, covering developments from the ancient world to the present day. Exhibitions highlighting important and sometimes overlooked areas of design include tiles, keys and locks, pottery and porcelain, glass and silver. Most of these exhibitions were accompanied by catalogues. Thematic exhibitions curated by McFadden include Wine: Celebration and Ceremony, which studied the social and material culture of wine throughout history; L'Art de Vivre: Decorative Arts and Design In France 1789–1989, organized an official manifestation of the bicentennial of the French Revolution, Scandinavian Modern 1880–1980, the first American exhibition to survey modern design from all five Nordic countries over a one-hundred-year period; Hair, a landmark exploration of the visual and design history of human hair; Toward Modern Design: Revival and Reform in Applied Arts 1880–1920; Good Offices and Beyond: The Evolution of the Workplace, a survey of designs for the office in the twentieth century; Structure and Style: Modernism in Dutch Applied Arts 1880–1930, the first American exhibition devoted to Dutch applied arts from that half century. For the Museum of Arts and Design, McFadden has organized exhibitions that include Defining Craft (2000), Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation—Contemporary Native American Art (with co-curator Ellen Taubman), Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting (2007), Pricked: Extreme Embroidery (2008),Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary (2008),Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection, Slash:Paper Under the Knife (2009). McFadden's other exhibitions have included such diverse subjects as eighteenth-century European porcelains, English Majolica of the nineteenth century, puppets, American art pottery, and Hungarian jewelry and silver, Art Nouveau ceramics, contemporary art quilts, and jewelry.
McFadden has published more than 90 books, articles, catalogues, and reviews worldwide, and has delivered more than 200 lectures and papers to national and international audiences. He has spoken at such cultural institutions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the École du Louvre in Paris. He has served on many international panels and juries, and on professional, civic, governmental, and advisory boards, most notably: The Arts Advisory Board of the American Federation of Arts; the Committee for the Restoration of Gracie Mansion, New York City's Mayoral Residence; the Exhibition Committee of the American-Scandinavian Foundation; and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Smithsonian Institution's Material Culture Forum
For his work in cultural affairs, McFadden has been named Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland (1984); Knight 1st Class of the Order of the Polar Star of Sweden by Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (1988); and Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France (1989). Three of McFadden's exhibition projects and/or catalogue were awarded the Presidential Design Award for Excellence (1994, 1995, and 1997).
In August 2013, McFadden announced that he would retire from his position at the Museum of Arts and Design at the end of 2013, planning to pursue independent curatorial and writing projects.
Fakes and Forgeries. Exhibition catalogue entries for decorative arts. (Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1973).
Silver: Gallery Guide. (Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1974).
The Art and Mind of Victorian England ; guide to the furniture, ceramics, and metalwork in the exhibition. (Minneapolis: University Gallery, University of Minnesota, 1974).
"Recent Accessions in Silver: Alexander Petrie and David Willaume, Jr.," The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin, LXI: 5–20 (1974).
"Institute Exhibits Masterpieces from the Permanent Collection," Arts Magazine, I, no.13: 4–5 (December, 1976).
"The Rococo." Video Program, University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Extension, for KTCA-TV series: From Enlightenment to Revolution: Our Eighteenth-Century Heritage (1976).
"An Aldobrandini Tazza: A Preliminary Study," The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin, LXIII: 43–56 (1976–77).
"The Baldwin Bequest: Recent Accessions in Silver," The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin, LXIII: 131–143 (1976–77).
Porcelain in the Collection of Cooper-Hewitt Museum [handbook of the collection]. (New York: Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1979).
"A Midwest Sampler: The Braman Collection," The Clarion: America's Folk Art Magazine, (Winter, 1978): 43–47.
"Design for History: The Cooper-Hewitt Museum," Connoisseur Magazine, 201: 202–204 (July, 1979).
Cooper-Hewitt Newsletter (articles published 1979–1985).
Glass in the Collection of Cooper-Hewitt Museum [handbook of the collection]. (New York: Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1979).
Furniture in the Collection of Cooper-Hewitt Museum [handbook of the collection] (New York: Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1979).
HAIR; catalogue of the exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1980. (New York, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1980.)
Tiles in the Collection of Cooper-Hewitt Museum (handbook of the collection). (New York, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1980.)
"Decorative Arts at Cooper-Hewitt: A New York Treasure," article in catalogue of 26th Annual East Side House Winter Antiques Show. (New York, 1980): 23–25.
Contributor of Chapter 1 (historical survey), in Images in Porcelain, by Jan Axel and K. McCready (New York, Watson-Guptill, 1981.)
Pottery in the Collection of Cooper-Hewitt Museum; handbook of the collection. (New York, Cooper-Hewitt Museum 1981.)
"Spheres of Influence: Robert Adam and the Decorative Arts," Connoisseur Magazine, vol. 209 (January, 1982): 30–33.
Book review: Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, by R. Bilcliffe, in Drawing Magazine, vol. II, no. 3 (September – October, 1980):.63-65.
"American Opinion: An Important Step in Reviving the Role of the Museum," (interview), Form Function Finland, no. 1 (1981): 24–27.
Exhibition review: "Margie Hughto," American Ceramics, vol. 1, no. 1 (1982): 49.
Juror's statement: Glass Art Society Exhibition Catalogue, Huntington, West Virginia, Huntington Galleries, 1980.
City Dwellings and Country Houses: Robert Adam and His Style; catalogue of the exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1982. Essay: "Spheres of Influence: Robert Adam and the Decorative Arts." (New York, Cooper-Hewitt, 1982.)
"Robert Adam and His Style," National Journal, (May, 1982): 10–11.
"Craft and Design: The Scandinavian Connection," Craft International (October, 1982): cover and 8–11.
"Excellence by Design: Metalwork from Scandinavia, Metalsmith, vol. 2, no. 4 (Fall, 1982): 7–13.
"Hot Water Urn by Thomas Heming 1777–1778," Metalsmith, (Winter, 1981): 38–39.
Silver in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum Collection (handbook of the collection, (New York, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1981)
Book review: The Wedgwood Family Circle, by B. And H. Wedgwood, in The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography, new series 6 (IV:292–293), ASECS, 1984.
Book review: The Dictionary of Wedgwood, by R. Reilly and G. Savage, in The Magazine Antiques. (December, 1980): 1184, 1188.
Statement: "Curators in Wonderland: A Survey of Wishful Thinking," Antiques World, vol. III, no. 5 (March, 1981): 40.
"American and British Silver," Apollo, vol. CXVII, no. 253 (March, 1983): 222–226.
"With Loving Detail: The Scandinavian Marriage of Craft and Industry," Industrial Design Magazine, vol. 30, no. 3 (May/June, 1983): 24–29.
Scandinavian Modern Design 1880–1980, author and general editor. (New York, Harry N. Abrams/Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1982).
"Documents of Design: Silver at Cooper-Hewitt Museum," The Magazine Silver, part I: vol. XVII, no.1 (January–February, 1984): 8–15; part II: vol. XVII, no.2 (March–April, 1984): 8–13.
"Historical Revivals in Glass," Glass Art Society Journal (1983–1984): 11–17.
"Astrid Sampe: An American Perspective," essay in catalogue Astrid Sampe—Svensk Industritextil, exhibition held at Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden, 29 February – 23 April 1984. (Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, 1984).
Scandinavian Modern: 1880–1980, essay from catalogue issued in Danish. (Kobenhavn, Kunstindustrimuseet, 1984).
"The Design of 'Scandinavian Modern'," Scandinavian Review, vol. 72, no. 1 (Spring, 1984): 31ff.
"Documents of Design: The Silversmiths' Legacy," The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Antique Show 1984 Catalogue (Minneapolis, 1984): 41–48.
"Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York: Design for the Nation," Theta House Charity Antiques Show Catalogue. (Houston, Texas, 1984): 76–81.
"A Question of Choice," Sweden Now, vol. 18, no. 6 (1984): 22–25.
"Design is Also a Verb," Form Function Finland, No. 2, (Spring, 1985). New American Glass: The State of the Art in the States, Introductory essay for a catalogue of an exhibition at Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden, 1985.
Juror's statement: "New Glass," in Neues Glas, Germany,1985.
General editor and author, Wine: Celebration and Ceremony, catalogue of the exhibition at Cooper-Hewitt. Essay titled "Celebration and Ceremony: Patterns of Ritual," (New York, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, 1985).
"Classics in Context," in E. Gaynor, Finland Living Design, (New York, Rizzoli International Publications, Inc, 1984): 12–13.
Tapio Wirkkala, gallery guide for exhibition, IBM Gallery of Science and Art, New York. 1985.
Juror's Statement: Society of Connecticut Craftsmen's 50th Anniversary exhibition, 1985.
"The 1985 Platinum Jewelry Design Competition," Metalsmith, vol. 6, no. 1 (86): 24–29.
"Earthly Delights: Floral Designs in the Decorative Arts," Catalogue of the 1986 New York Flower Show, The Horticultural Society of New York, 1986: 35–37.
"Light, Glass, and Architecture," The Glass Art Society Journal, 1986: 7–10.
"Design Comment: An Interview with Lella Vignelli," The Glass Art Society Journal, 1986: 30–34.
"Whatever Happened to the Decorative Arts," panelist statement, Glass Art Society Journal, 198: 27.
Introduction to Karmason and Stack, Majolica (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1989).
Introduction to Robert Ebendorf Retrospective Exhibition (New Paltz: College Art Gallery, State University of New York, The College at New Paltz, 1989).
Treasures for the Table; Silver From the Chrysler Museum (essays). (New York: Hudson Hills Press, in Association with the American Federation of Arts, 1989).
"L'Art de Vivre" special supplement guide, Vogue Decoration, International edition, no. 19, Spring, 1989, with article on "Cooper-Hewitt Museum: The Collections," and foldout time line "French Creativity: Two Captivating Centuries," and "Guide to the Exhibition. Published concurrently in English and French.
"Past and Present: Recent Acquisitions in Ceramics at Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Design," Ars Ceramica, no.5 (1988): 44–49.
L'Art de Vivre: Decorative Arts and Design in France 1789–1989, introductory essay and general editor, with additional authors. (New York/Paris: Vendome Press/Flammarion, 1989).
"Objects," co-author, in Guide to Indexing and Cataloging with the Art & Architecture Thesaurus, edited by Toni Petersen and Patricia J. Barnett. (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press; published on behalf of The Getty Art History Information Program, 1994): 121–162.
"Historicisme et exotisme: l'argenterie à Boston, New York, Providence et Philadelphie au XIXeme siècle," Revue du Louvre (1995): 285–292.
"The Landscape of the Table," Exhibition Catalogue: Theta 43rd Annual Charity Antiques Show (Houston, 1995): 31–33.
Chairmania: Fantastic Miniatures, with George Beylerian and Rita Reif (New York: Harry Abrams, 1995).
"Telling Time: A Personal Acknowledgment," in The Jewelry of Tone Vigeland (Oslo: Museum of Applied Arts, 1995): 50
Discovering Symbols and Patterns in the Millicent Rogers Museum. With M.A. Allday, R. A. Karch, B. Barrett (Taos, NM: Millicent Rogers Museum, 1996).
"Juror's Statement," in Spotlight '98, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN, 1998
"Urban Ikebana," essay for collaborative installation by Akihiro Kasuya and Neil Tetkowski, Cast Iron Gallery, New York. (NY, 1998)
"Taking the Trauma Out of Art," an interview with Suzanne Ramljak, American Ceramics, vol. 13, no. 1 (1998): 10–11.
"Michele Oka Doner: Beyond the Limits of Imitation," in Michele Oka Doner Ceremonial Silver catalogue of an exhibition, Primavera Gallery, New York, 1999.
Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary Quilts by African American Artists, (with Dr. Carolyn Mazlooomi), brochure to accompany exhibition at American Craft Museum and subsequent tour. (New York: American Craft Museum, 1999)
Rorstrand: Swedish Art Nouveau Porceelain from the Robert Schreiber Collection. (New York: American Craft Museum, 1999)
"Craftsmanship in a Changing World: The Muse and the Mouse," The International 20th Century Arts Fair New York Catalogue (London/New York, 1999): 19–25,
"The Expert View," Chelsea Crafts Fair Catalogue 1999. (London: Crafts Council, 1999): 24–26.
"The Architecture of Ornament: The Jewelry of Arline Fisch," in Elegant Fantasy: The Jewelry of Arline Fisch (San Diego, CA.: San Diego Historical Society, 1999): 9–11.
"Artifice and Authenticity: Defining Craft," Defining Craft 1: Collecting for the New Millennium (New York: American Craft Museum, 2000):9–15.
"Remembering the Future: Collectors and Collecting of Venetian Glass," Venetian Glass: The Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu Collection. (New York: American Craft Museum, 2000)10–12.
"Chairs, Fashion, and Time," catalogue essay for The Chair Show 4 (Asheville, NC: Southern Highland Craft Guild, 2001): iv.vi.
"What Came First, the Artists or the Trends?," The Crafts Report (September 2001): 44–45.
"Interview with David McFadden," Surface Design Journal (Summer 2001);6-ll.
"Body and Soul: Fiber Arts at the American Craft Museum," SOFA New York 2001 catalogue (Chicago: Expressions of Culture, Inc.): 22–27.
Changing Hands:Art Without Reservation 1/Contemporary Native American Art from the Southwest, with Ellen N. Taubman. (New York and London: Merrell and American Craft Museum, 2002).
"Continuity/Contiguity: The Ceramic Art of Gerry Eskin, exhibition catalogue (Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Museum of Art, 2002).
"Practical Dreamer: The Glass of Giles Bettison," Object Magazine, Australia (2002):26–29.
"Changing Hands: A Major Native American Art Exhibition at the American Craft Museum," Southwest Art, vol. 22, no.3 (August 2002): 150–157.
"La voix nouvelle des Indiens dans la céramique américaine," Revue Céramique & Verre, no.126 (Septembre/Octobre 2002); 46–47.
"Magic in the Mundane: Jewelry from the Donna Schneier Collection," Zero Kara: The Donna Schneier Gift to the American Craft Museum. (New York: American Craft Museum, 2002): 10–15.
"Thin Skin," Corporal Identity: Body Language (Frankfurt: Museum fur Angewandte Kunst, 2003): 18–22.
"Merging Art and Design Through Craft: An Appreciation of Murano Glass," Murano: Glass from the Olnick Spanu Collection (New York: Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, 2003): 21–24.
"Craft, Design, or is it Art? Museum of Arts and Design, N.Y." MAGazine, a publication of the Metal Arts Guild of Canada (Winter, 2003): 19
"An Art of our Time: Wood Sculpture Today," Nature Transformed: Wood Art from the Bohlen Collection (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 2004): 10–23.
"Holding One's Breath for Eternity: The Glass Worlds of Paul Stankard," Paul Stankard: A Floating World/Forty Years of an American Master in Glass. (New York: Museum of Arts & Design, 2004): 9–10.
Jack Lenor Larsen: Creator and Collector (London: Merrell Publishers; New York: Museum of Arts & Design, 2004.
"Interview: David McFadden," Metalsmith, vol. 25, no.5 (Fall, 2004):20–23.
"Expecting the Unexpected: The Genius of Seaman Schepps," in Amanda Vail and Janet Zapata, Seaman Schepps: A Century of New York Jewelry Design (New York: TheVendome Press, 2004): 6.
Juror's Statement, Mesa Contemporary Art Center, 26th Annual Contemporary Crafts, 2004 (brochure).
"Suzanne Tick: Giving Materials Their Own Voice," Fiberarts (Nov./Dec. 2004): 48–51.
"Eva Hild: Sinuous Shapes," American Ceramics, volume 14, no 3 (2004):16–21.
"Dual Vision: A Conversation with Simona and Jerome Chazen," and Windows Into the Soul: Vision and the Presence of Self," Dual Vision: The Simona and Jerome Chazen Collection, (New York: Museum of Arts & Design, 2005): 10–15; 20–26.
Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 2, Contemporary Native North American Art from the West, Northwest, and Pacific, catalogue of the exhibition, with Ellen N. Taubman (New York: Museum of Arts & Design, 2005).
"Of Hammers, History, and Household : The Holloware of Myra Mimlitsch Gray, Metalsmith, vol. 25, no. 2 (Spring 2005): 35–40.
"Dreams and Visions: A Theater of Daily Life/The Work of Torben Hardenberg," SOFA 2005 (catalogue): 35–37.
Juror's Statement, "Earth, Fire and Fibre XXV," The Biennial Alaska Juried Craft Exhibition, Anchorage Museu;m of History and Art, 2005 (brochure).
Juror's Statement, "Craft Forms 2005," The 11th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Craft (brochure).
Design Language Interpretive Edition (foreword), by Tim McCreight. (Portland, ME: Brynmorgen Press, 2006).
"Patronage," in Ceramic Millennium; Critical Writings on Ceramic History, Theory, and Art, edited by Garth Clark. (Halifax, Nova Scotia: The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 2006): 301–316.
"Marta Klonowska: New Talent/The Most Important Artists Working in Glass You've Never Heard Of (Yet)," Glass; The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly, no. 103 (Summer 2006): 38–39.
"Alejandro Alonso [director, Museo Nacional de la Ceramica, Havana, Cuba] : An Interview with David Revere McFadden," American Ceramics, vol. 15, no. 1 (2006): 14–15.
"The Voice in the Veins," in Judy Chicago: Chicago in Glass, LewAllen Contemporary, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2006, p. 2–5
"Over the Top: New Work by José Chardiet," in José Chardiet: Coalescence, Marx Saunders Gallery, Chicago, December 1, 2006 – January 12, 2007, pp. 5–6
"1970s," Eight Decades of Design; celebrating the New York Design Center's 80th anniversary (New York: New York Design Center, 2006): 27.
Juror's statement, "RISD Routes: Contemporary Craft by New England Alumni," Fuller Museum of Craft., 2007.
"Is Scottish Craft Really Scottish," The Cutting Edge: Scotland's Contemporary Crafts, National Museums of Scotland, 2007: 121–135.
'Jeffrey Mongrain : Secrets and Revelations, « catalogue article for Daum Museum
"A Season of Abundance: The Maple Tree Series of Sana Musasana," catalogue essay in Sana Musasama: Ambivalent Beauty, (Hanover, NH: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2007: 18–21.
"The Well Crafted House: Craft in Context (The Collection of Sandy and Lou Grotta)," The Grotta House
Book Review: "Fired With Passion: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics," by Samuel J. Lurie and Beatrice L. Chang. . Arts of Asia, July–August 2007: 136–137
Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting (catalogue of the exhibition held at the Museum of Arts and Design January 25 to June 17, 1007). (New York: Museum of Arts and Design, 2007).
Pricked: Extreme Embroidery (catalogue of the exhibition held at the Museum of Arts and Design November 8, 2007 to March 9, 2008).
MADBook; collections handbook (New York: Museum of Arts and Design, 2008)
Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary (catalogue of the exhibition). (New York: Museum of Arts and Design, 2008)
Forward Thinking: Building the MAD Collection (New York: Museum of Arts and Design, 2008)
"The Seder Plate: Form and Evolution," in New Works Old Story; 80 Artists at the Passover Table, The Dorothy Saxe Invitational. (San Francisco: Contemporary Jewish Museum, 2009): 23–27.
"Between Art and Nature: The Glass of Steffen Dam," in End of My Garden: Steffen Dam, Heller Gallery, New York 4–25 April 2009: 6–13.
Slash: Paper Under the Knife (catalogue of the exhibition held at the Museum of Arts and Design, October 7, 2009 to April 4, 2010.
- "Chief curator of New York City's Museum of Arts and Design will speak at ISU Aug. 24". Iowa State, News Service. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- "David Revere McFadden to Retire After 16 Years As Chief Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design". Museum of Arts and Design. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.