Amy Lau founded her New York-based interior design firm, Amy Lau Interiors, in 2001 and has since attracted prestigious residential and commercial clients such as Elvis Costello and Elie Tahari. Also an independent advisor to collectors of 20th Century decorative arts, Amy’s background in international mid-century modernism is reflected in her interiors, which are more curated than decorated and always filtered through a modern lens.
We asked Amy for her top pick of “places to see” for designers and design enthusiasts visiting New York City, and this is her response:
Amy Lau, president, Amy Lau Interiors:
If you go nowhere else in New York, you’ve got to see the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), which unveiled its new home, the Chazen Building, at Columbus Circle in September 2008.
The Museum showcases the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by creative and innovative artists. Its permanent collection, which focuses on art, craft and design from 1950 through the present day, is international in scope. The 54-year old Museum’s spectacular new facility was designed by Allied Works Architecture and is located at the southwest corner of Central Park at 59th Street & Broadway.
Baskets like you’ve never seen will surprise and delight in “Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection,” on view through September 12. Thirty years of collecting fiber sculpture and baskets made of materials ranging from Japanese bamboo to silver salmon skin resulted in this internationally-acclaimed special exhibition of contemporary baskets and fiber sculpture. (While you’re in the elevator, by the way, you’ll see my wallpaper for Maya Romanoff’s Anniversary Collection!)
“Portable Treasuries: Silver Jewelry from the Nadler Collection,” is another great special exhibition up through August 8, 2010. This unique collection of silver jewelry from around the world includes 150 works from N. Africa, the Indian Subcontinent and the hill tribes of Southeast Asia. The scope of these designs collected by Daniel and Serga Nadler is extraordinary and inspiring.
Opening April 27th, “Dead or Alive” will feature intricate sculptures and installations by over 30 international artists crafted entirely of natural materials Organic materials and objects that were once produced by or were part of living organisms ---parts of plants, feathers, bones, silkworm cocoons, insects, even hair---are the medium of these artists and their works are awesome and thought-provoking. This special exhibition will remain open through October 24, 2010. (Photograph above by Levi Van Veluw entitled Landscape I, 2008, courtesy of Ronmandos Gallery, Amsterdam).
If you’re in N.Y. between April 22-25, catch the Visitor’s Preview of “Dead and Alive” and observe artists such as Jennifer Angus as they create site-specific installations for this exhibition at the Museum. Jennifer is known for her architectural interiors covered with thousands of dried insects that are pinned to mimic vintage wallpaper. (Image above is Silver Wings and Golden Scales, 2007, from Jennifer Angus installation at Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI).
At the center of the Museum’s mission is education. On the 6th floor, three open artist studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work. There are classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars and workshops for students, families and adults.
Top off your tour with lunch or dinner at the Museum’s restaurant, Robert. Its delicious Mediterranean-influenced cuisine is rivaled only by the views of Central Park from its perch on the 9th floor. Oh, and don’t miss the Gift Shop! I find something great every time I shop there. And you can take home a memento of a great day.
Our thanks to the photographers who provided these photos: Ric Kallaher, Emily Balz, Cynthia Alberto and Alvin Klein, Helene Binel, and also Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI. For more information on the Museum of Arts & Design, visit www.madmuseum.org.
For more information on Amy Lau Design, see www.amylaudesign.com