Art and the Shopping Spree
The Run on the MoMA Shop
"Where's your cup, your pin,
and where are the art neckties?" It's only been up for a few days, but
it's already obvious that the
MoMA in Berlin isn't merely a big success with the public - the
specially set-up shop in the New National Gallery is a record-breaker,
too. Particularly coveted are the products made exclusively for the
exhibition event by designers from Berlin and New York. Maria Morais
spoke with the museum shop's director Jörg Klambt about the
run on the designer pieces - and finally found out what a "Hot MoMA" is.
Jörg Klambt in the MoMA-Shop
What are the highlights of the MoMA shop?
Jörg Klambt: We
offer designer pieces developed especially for the Berlin MoMA which not
only feature The New National Gallery logo, but which also echo the logo's
colors. The visitor can find a selection of pink, black, and gold-colored
products that all transport that unmistakable MoMA feeling. The articles I
find really great are the ones that work with the word "MoMA" in a playful
way. Among these, for example, is "MoMAnizer," a wonderful term we've
coined for the staff members who give guided tours of the show and take
care of the public. They wear pink "MoMAnizer" T-shirts especially for
this purpose and can be recognized immediately. We wanted to toy around
with this idea a bit further, of course. Just about everything can be
"MoMA," and anyone who loves the show can discover things that speak their
very own MoMA language: from T-shirts reading "Momazing," "momalicious,"
"Moman" or "Momantic" to coffee cups bearing scrumptious titles like
"Momacino," "Momamorning," or "Hot MoMA." That's pretty good, isn't it?
And we have a great selection for kids, too. And because The MoMA in
Berlin is restricted to painting and sculpture from New York's
Museum of Modern Art, our shop places a special emphasis on the design
aspect, which is particularly characteristic for MoMA. To this purpose, we
commissioned seven designers from New York and Berlin to create objects
curated by Oliver Vogt from the Berlin-based Design Team
Vogt + Weizenegger; these are featured in their very own window in the
design objects from the 7+7 series
by designers of Berlin and New York
Which objects were designed especially for The MoMA in Berlin?
JK: The immensely popular MoMA scarf, for instance: a yard-long knit
scarf designed by the Berlin-based textile designer Sarah Siewert. It's
completely covered with the names of MoMA artists, which produces a
gorgeous pattern. You can really wrap yourself up in it. And the New York
designer Tobi Wong's gloves are a perfect match. There's a MoMA and a
Berlin ring in pink and black that can be combined together. They were
designed by Elena Mildner, a Russian living in Berlin who's designed quite
a bit for the Museum for
Applied Arts in Vienna. And then there are some highly original things
that aren't a direct part of the New York-Berlin exchange. Among these is
a pencil case on which the owner has to paint the logo himself, created by
the French designer Caroline Lisfranc
. We developed the concept of the "empty logo" together with Lisfranc.
Bag for pens by Caroline Lisfranc
Shopping Bag by Caroline Lisfranc
Sixty articles have been created especially for the exhibition, along with a
number of other objects made exclusively for the National Gallery that
look very, very elegant. These are the more classical black and white
products, including note pads, drawing pencils, and rulers on which
The New National Gallery appears as an emblem. This synthesis of form and
function goes over particularly well with the architecture enthusiasts.
For the Mies van der Rohe fans, we
already had to reorder quite a bit. But some new extras are going to be
added throughout the course of the exhibition, as well: at Easter, for
instance, we'll have our own Easter bouquet, and then there's the
DESIGNMAI here in Berlin, for which a number of new, exciting design
articles are planned.
Knitted Scarf by Sarah Siewert
imagine Sarah Siewert's designer scarf is one of the articles that will
become highly coveted very soon.
JK: Yes, that's true. We've
already sold twenty scarves, and at the moment twice that amount is in
production, but that's it. Altogether, there won't be more than 50 or 60
of these scarves in the entire world.
Knitted Scarf by Sarah Siewer
we hurry, then, if we still want to get hold of certain articles?
JK: Yes, because the MoMA Shop is a temporary thing that's going to vanish
again after seven months. The articles will no longer be obtainable after
that. The product line for The New National Gallery is a bit different. In
all likelihood, these articles will continue to be offered for sale.
Berlin-New York Design Watch by roomsafari
Were you able to prepare yourself ahead of time for the huge amount of
visitors? Did you foresee the rush?
JK: We expected a lot of
people, of course; we counted on approximately 1,000 customers per day.
What's happening now, though, goes beyond our wildest expectations. The
storage room is packed to the brim, and so we can't really keep any more
products on stock here. As a result, we have to reorder quickly and hope
that our suppliers don't leave us in the lurch.