Here at The Modern Archive, we believe great creative work exceeds traditional boundaries of medium or discipline. Visionary works of design, craft and art challenge, delight and inspire us by communicating more than good workmanship or perfect functionality – they enrich our experience of daily life. Our mission is to bring together exceptional works of the modern creative process that blur the lines of category, to tell the stories behind them, and to make them available to the discriminating and curious collector.
Lorry Parks Dudley established herself early as an expert working with fine art galleries specializing in multiples. By the 1980’s her taste for modern furnishings led to collaborations with the international Memphis designers. As co-founder of Grace Designs Showroom in Dallas, she became their National Distributor. The showroom, designed by Sottsass Associati, became a laboratory for research into Italian avant-garde design, and a showcase of the best artists and designers in the US. Her exhibition company originated and travelled nationally the Memphis/Milano: New Design exhibition and many others, including Modern Jewelry: New Design, Heavy Dress, and New Chair.
Recruited in 1988 by Wendell Castle to direct and modernize his studio, she soon transitioned to become the founding director of the Peter Joseph Gallery in NYC, representing Castle, Albert Paley and eighteen other of the top American Studio artists in the country. After the birth of her son, she discovered the Vitra Design Museum miniatures and directed their American introduction, ultimately building Vitra’s US retail market for their expanding modern design collection. Her experience in the marketing and distribution of design have since led her to partner and consult with important design manufacturers; Alessi, Maharam, Moroso, Herman Miller and countless small design, fashion and art-based start-ups.
Throughout her many careers, Lorry has been a passionate collector and advocate of great creative works. Her own personal collection and vast archival resources have been the inspiration for The Modern Archive. In researching some of her earliest acquisitions from the 1980’s, she came to the realization - Internet searches for information are inconclusive for most works in this time period. This “hole in the internet” means there are scant online details of one of the richest periods of modern design, craft and art.
A core mission at The Modern Archive is to research, recover and re-tell the rich history of revolutionary, pre-millennial design, craft and art. Our extensive archive of books, catalogues, and periodicals of the period allows us to tell the story which has long gone untold. Our goal is to provide a fresh look at these revolutionary artists, designer and craftspeople whose works redefine the creative process in new ways.
The Modern Archive will offer monthly or bi-monthly exhibitions or online-presentations with content exclusive to The Modern Archive. In-depth stories will highlight a specific artist, designer, group or subject through essays, interviews, archival records and photography.
We will offer authentic works for sale in a new, curated context, devoid of the traditional categories of design, craft and art. Instead we will present them in the context they were originally made. All descriptions include a brief condition report of the work, for a more detailed report, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Production – works developed to be manufactured for production.
Prototypes – early developmental works for the review of the artist or designer and manufacturer. Not necessarily one-of-a-kind, but most often in very limited numbers.
Limited Edition – works planned for a limited run, often but not always numbered.
Model & Miniatures – smaller scale study or developmental works, along with miniatures in production.
Unique – one-of-a-kind works
Related Content – including
Books – catalogues, brochures, first editions, and out of print volumes
Posters – vintage and rare modern posters
Ephemera – specialty pieces related to design and collecting
Artists / Designers – includes short biographical information, portrait and a selection of available works. Additional information on manufacturers included.