SAN DIEGO, CA.-
SURF CRAFT - Design and the Culture of Board Riding opened at Mingei International Museum
on June 21, 2014. This new exhibition, curated by local surf historian Richard Kenvin, occupies the Museums entire first-floor gallery, presenting 60-80 surfboards built from the late 1940s to the present day in their historical context of craft and design.
Standing alone, surfboards are often striking examples of functional design. Together, over time, they tell a compelling story about the evolution of an important art form in America and around the world. SURF CRAFT is a unique surfboard design exhibition, capturing the influences behind design in board riding, from the alaia boards of ancient Hawaii, to obscure surf bathing boards of England, Japan and Africa, to post-war hydrodynamic planning hulls from Southern California.
The surfboard, historically a handcrafted object, ultimately gave rise to foam and fiberglass board construction, often produced on a mass scale. However, many contemporary shapers are now recognizing and tapping into the design principles found in the traditional boards. Cutting-edge engineering and minimalist art converge in this exhibition. Innovative board-shapers and surfers from San Diegos past and present are highlighted, including Bob Simmons and Carl Ekstrom. The exhibition will be on view until January 11, 2015.
Guest curator Richard Kenvin has authored a 176-page hardcover book of the same title, published by Marquand Books and MIT Press. The book includes 150 historic and contemporary photographs.
SURF CRAFT is the first exhibition to kick off Mingei International Museums 18-month exhibition theme AMERICAN ICONS Celebrating Folk Art, Craft and Design from Coast to Coast. Just as the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park celebrated the connection of the countrys east and west coasts through the opening of the Panama Canal, beginning in June 2014 and throughout 2015 Mingei International Museum will mount a series of exhibitions to celebrate the imagination, inspiration and innovation of Americans who have for more than three centuries created stunning works of folk art, craft and design our shared American Icons.