Lauren Kalman: But if the Crime Is Beautiful at Museum of Arts and Design

From October 20, 2016, to March 15, 2017, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) presents Lauren Kalman: But if the Crime Is Beautiful.… Taking up the subject of gold, specifically its use in jewelry and adornment, the installation by metalsmith and performance artist Lauren Kalman is the second POV exhibition in MAD’s Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery.


The title refers to Austrian architect Adolf Loos’ 1908 treatise “Ornament and Crime,” an essay that has been called one of the most radical polemics of design criticism in the twentieth century. In it, Loos declares decoration regressive, degenerate, primitive, and criminal—characteristics he associates with women and minorities, and makes synonymous with moral decay. He advocates instead for a new aesthetic based on rational and unornamented design, which became known as Western-European modernism.

Start Date

October 20, 2016

End Date

March 15, 2017


10:00 AM - 06:00 PM


Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle New York, NY

Event Type


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