Art: Good Design

Is there art in a broomstick? Yes, says Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art, if it is designed both for usefulness and good looks. For the past three years, the museum has staged a kind of super shower, receiving thousands of new items of home furnishings through Chicago's Merchandise Mart, and selected a few hundred for good-design awards (signified by an orange and black label). Last week the museum exhibited the best of this year's crop.

The 400 items (chosen from a record 6,000 entries) ranged from preserve jars to crystal goblets, from plastic leaf...

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