Reyn Dirksen, Dutch, 1924-1999, 1st place, All Our Colours to the Mast, 1950 Lithograph, 29.5 tall x 21.5 wide / 32 x 24 framed, George C. Marshall Foundation, Lexington, VA 

The Center for Architecture Sarasota presents “A Designed Life,” a compilation of three historical exhibitions of contemporary mass-produced, American-designed consumer goods commissioned by the U.S. Department of State in the early 1950s. 

The exhibitions—Contemporary American Textiles designed by Florence Knoll, Contemporary American Wallpapers designed by Tom Lee, and Containers and Packaging designed by Will Burtin—were each developed as collections of industry-specific consumer goods, designed and manufactured in the spirit of American modernism.

A Designed Life: Contemporary American Textiles, Wallpapers, and Containers & Packing recreates and interprets those early Cold War exhibitions —including American textiles, wallpapers, and containers & packing—restating and interpreting part of each display as it might have appeared in the early 1950s.

The exhibit closes April 30 and will next travel to Washington, D.C., where it will be installed at the Diplomacy Center Pavilion of the State Department.

A Designed Life is curated by Margaret Re and organized by the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Center for Architecture Sarasota is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and is located at 265 S. Orange Ave. in downtown Sarasota. For more information, call (941) 350-5430.

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