Modern Mags at MoMA - Design Bureau

Modern Mags at MoMA

Monday, March 19th, 2012

The hundred-some magazines in the Museum of Modern Art’s Millennium Magazines exhibit aren’t just audacious testaments against print’s prophesied doom. Hand-picked from the MoMA Library files, they also make an eye-catching array of arty periodicals from the last 12 years.

 “We wanted them to have a grassroots feel,” says Rachael Morrison, one of the MoMA librarians behind the exhibit. “We wanted them to be made by artists or encourage community among artists and designers.”

Some are pocket-sized. Some have no words. Some are black and white. Some come in a box. Some feature avant-garde clothing, and some seek to save the world from postmodernity. The magazines are placed only in alphabetical order, so visitors are free to thumb through and fall for any and all.

One of Morrison’s favorites is Album, which is literally stapled together by two Norwegian women. “It’s full of images they’ve taken out of magazines or seen Xeroxed or collected, and they’re juxtaposed on opposite pages,” Morrison says. “It’s so colorful and and funny. It really doesn’t matter at all that the format is sort of cheap.” She adds, “That’s just proof that anyone can make a great magazine with whatever materials they have.”

Millennium Magazines runs through May 14. On April 9, a panel called “Experiments in Publication” will feature editors from magazines on display like LTTR, Veneer Magazine, Fillip, and Megawords.

Until then, you can see more magazines at MoMA's online interactive exhibit. MoMA says most of them are still actively in publication. Wouldn't your mailbox be happy to meet a few?

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