How is it already holiday card season? There’s something so wonderful about cards, both the act of writing them and opening up the mail to discover a message from someone you love. Every year without fail, some of the loveliest cards are from MoMA Design Store…
Left: Ben Shahn. Right: Design by Florence Bezrutczyk Copyright 1951.
I knew MoMA holiday cards had been around forever, but I didn’t realize how their card program is part of an incredibly rich tradition.
Left: Paul Klee: Child with toy, pen and ink. 1908. Right: Saul Steinberg: Santa Claus and Reindeer, pen and ink. Copyright 1947.
MoMA started commissioning and selling artist-designed cards in the 1940s, and then began distributing them to other retailers in 1952.
Left: Andy Warhol: Cherubs. Copyright 1952. Right: Herbert Migdoll: Three Crowns. Copyright 1958. Ivan Chermayeff: Noel. Copyright 1958.
Top: Mac Wells: Untitled. Copyright 1965. Left: Robert Indiana: LOVE, oil on canvas. Copyright 1965. Right: John Goodyear: STAR LIGHT AND DARK. Copyright 1965.
Over the years, many important works have appeared on MoMA cards, including Robert Indiana’s iconic Love motif in 1965.
And how cute are these pop-up cards? In the 1960s, MoMA’s holiday card offerings expanded to include “constructions,” which could also serve as inexpensive holiday presents. This tradition continues today, with their current collection of impressively engineered cards. Kids would go crazy for them!
This year’s collection includes this pinball machine, which flattens into an envelope, then easily pops into shape. Wouldn’t it be fun to get? You could even hang it on a tree.
Cards featuring artwork by Bruce Nauman.
To celebrate their history of collaborating with artists on holiday cards, MoMA has brought back some original commissions from their archives, reproduced work from MoMA’s collection, and launched some brand-new artists’ cards. You can see the full collection here, if you’d like. They’re all so special and beautiful, and there’s truly something for everyone.
Do you send holiday cards? What are your favorites? I’d love to hear what you’re planning this year.
(Photography by Alpha Smoot for Cup of Jo. Styling by Veronica Olson. This post is sponsored by MoMA Design Store, our source for unique gifts and home goods for years. Thanks for supporting the partners that help keep Cup of Jo running.)