NYC - MoMA: Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries - LEGO Building Blocks
LEGO Building Bricks, 1954-58
ABS plastic, Manufactured by LEGO Group, Billund, Denmark.
Godtfred Kirk Christiansen. (Danish, 1920-1995)
Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, began creating wooden toys in his workshop in 1932 and began calling his company "Lego" (from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means "play well") two years later. The company expanded to producing plastic toys in 1940. In 1949, Lego began producing the now-famous interlocking bricks, based mlargely on the design of Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks, which were released in the UK in 1947, and calling them "Automatic Binding Bricks."
Since 1963, Lego pieces have been manufactured from a strong, resilient plastic known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS. Precision-machined, small-capacity molds are used, and human inspectors check the output of the molds, to eliminate significant variations in color or thickness. Despite tremendous variation in the design and purpose of individual pieces over the years, each remains compatible in some way with existing pieces. Lego bricks from 1963 still interlock with those made in 2008.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 and is often recognized as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. Over the course of the next ten years, the Museum moved three times into progressively larger temporary quarters, and in 1939 finally opened the doors of its midtown home, located on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in midtown.
MoMA's holdings include more than 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. Highlights of the collection inlcude Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory, Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiseels d'Avignon and Three Musicians, Claude Monet's Water Lilies, Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie, Paul Gauguin's The Seed of the Areoi, Henri Matisse's Dance, Marc Chagall's I and the Village, Paul Cezanne's The Bather, Jackson Pollack's Number 31, 1950, and Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans. MoMA also owns approximately 22,000 films and four million film stills, and MoMA's Library and Archives, the premier research facilities of their kind in the world, hold over 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, and extensive individual files on more than 70,000 artists.