On 25 April 1985, Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst (at the time still called the Museum für Kunsthandwerk) moved into the Richard Meier building in Schaumainkai 17.
On the occasion of its thirtieth year in these quarters, the museum is presenting a cabinet exhibition entitled Richard Meier: A Style Room, which is more than a design show. In it, visitors can learn what historical references the architect drew on for his plans: what early twentieth-century design examples did he look to for orientation, and what cultural contexts of the 1980s underscore his approach?
Thonet’s bentwood chair accordingly has as much a place in the exhibition as a chair by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Richard Meier: A Style Room elucidates how he quoted modernism in order to introduce new impulses to post-modern architecture that later also influenced neo-modernism. At the same time, the presentation is a style room that conveys an impression of a private interior à la Meier, whose fictional inhabitants are as little prepared to go without a Bang & Olufsen hi-fi system as without the cult series “Miami Vice” or Milan Kundera’s novel “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. The show thus creates the atmosphere of the middle-class elite of the 1980s in which an unbroken modernism felt right at home.