Fort Makers is pleased to present Goodnight House, an immersive group exhibition of works inspired by the American children's book classic, Goodnight Moon, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, first published in 1947. Through contemporary reimaginings of various objects found within the book's bedroom setting, Goodnight Houseexplores how the book has been woven into a collective, American cultural understanding of comfort, sleep, compassion, and imagination.
Goodnight Moon is a short rhyming poem describing a young rabbit's bedtime ritual of saying repetitive, meditative, goodnight wishes to everything in sight and in earshot, from inanimate bedroom objects—including a red balloon, a pair of socks, a toy house, and a bowl of mush—to the air, the stars, the moon, and even a house. While seemingly predictable, Goodnight Moonsubverts its own rules even as it follows them, disrupting readers' expectations with metaphysical farewells such as, 'goodnight nobody' and 'goodnight noises everywhere.'
"When Goodnight Moon was first published, the New York Public Library's chief children's librarian disliked the book so much that the library didn't carry it for 25 years," explains Fort Makers Co-Founder and Creative Director Nana Spears. "Despite the librarian's opposition to a progressive wave of children's literature, and even though the book had poor sales in its first year, Goodnight Moon eventually gained universal affection and became one of the most famous childrens' books of all time. While subtly subversive, Goodnight Moon allows us to see through the eyes of a child, and instills in us essential tools for innovation. That's something worth celebrating."
"Since the advent of kindergarten, artists and designers have been absorbed with the power of play and the role it has in fostering creativity in both children and adults. This power has always been at the forefront of Fort Makers' design philosophy, and is a tenet we try to reaffirm in new, innovative ways with each exhibition we produce," says Fort Makers Co-Founder Noah Spencer.
Goodnight House reinterprets the bunny protagonist's bedroom with newly commissioned artwork and home goods, created by contemporary artists and designers whose practices each embrace a childlike curiosity. "We asked each artist to further rekindle their childlike understanding of the world around them, and create objects uninhibited by the horrors of adulthood," continues Spears. "What better remedy than comfort and play?"
Fort Makers-commissioned works featured in Goodnight House include an upholstered bed and handwoven textiles by Liz Collins; ceramic table lamps by Samuel Harvey; a rocking chair, stools, and a cloud-shaped bedside table and storage unit by CHIAOZZA (Adam Frezza & Terri Chiao); paintings by Marcel Alcalá; picture frames and hand-carved wooden spoons by Nick DeMarco; Goodnight Moon character-inspired candles by Janie Korn; candles in the Goodnight Moon colorway by Crying Clover (Sara Gernsbacher & JPW3); a ceramic mantlepiece clock by Keith Simpson; ceramic bowls by Lauren Elder; ceramic mugs and bowls by Shino Takeda; a bedside rug and ottoman by Tamika Rivera; painted silk curtains and pillows by Fort Makers Co-Founder Naomi S. Clark; and a dollhouse light, a black balloon sconce, and etched wooden cubes by Fort Makers Co-Founders Nana Spears & Noah Spencer, among other works.
FORT MAKERS is a New York-based design studio and artist collective that designs bold, colorful, and tactile objects and environments through the lens of American craft. Offering exclusive, pièce-unique and limited-edition collections of art objects, handmade furniture, and sculptural lighting, Fort Makers creates inventive, playful pieces that people can live with forever. Founded in 2008 by Nana Spears, Noah Spencer and Naomi Clark, Fort Makers also includes artists Jason Bauer, Romina Gonzales, Tamika Rivera, Keith Simpson and Shino Takeda. In September 2019, Fort Makers opened its first exhibition space and concept store at 38 Orchard Street in Manhattan. The gallery transforms every three months, hosting quarterly, immersive installations and exhibitions.