Bookmarks with Samantha De Tillio

Bookmarks with Samantha De Tillio

Samantha De Tillio

Samantha De Tillio, the assistant curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.

Earlier this month, we had an exciting visit from Samantha De Tillio, assistant curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York City. De Tillio was at the ACC Library conducting research for a forthcoming exhibition that will feature highly visual ephemera from our organizations' shared history (MAD was founded as the Museum of Contemporary Crafts by the ACC in 1956, and became its own institution in 1990).

We asked De Tillio to tell us a little more about her research for the exhibition, as well as her favorite resources in general. Here's what she had to say...

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?

Who in the art/craft/design world do you love to follow on social media?
I just started following critical.objects on Instagram. It's a daily art criticism project, which I’ve enjoyed a lot. And of course one of my go-to art-world sources is Hyperallergic, on social media or not.

What are your favorite print and digital items in the ACC Library? Name one of each and why.
Well of course I have to say that my favorite items, both digital and print, are the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now MAD) archives! Elissa Auther, Windgate research and collections curator, and I are co-curating an exhibition called "Eye for Design," which opens this summer at MAD and examines the exhibitions-related graphic design history of the institution during the 1960s and 70s. As a result, these are some of my favorite materials – particularly the catalogues and related ephemera for "Amusements," "Woven Forms," "People Figures," and "Glass: Czechoslovakia and Italy." So gorgeous. Also the ACC Library is a treasure trove of installation images, and to actually get to see these exhibitions realized in photographs is indispensable.

Where do you go to be inspired?
If I’m looking to be inspired in an art-related way, I’ll head to a museum. Even though I work with contemporary craft day-to-day, I love modern painting and would probably head to one of my favorite museums in the city – the Neue Galerie – or find an empty bench in the Met and just sit and stare at a single painting for a long period of time. There is something about losing yourself in a work of art that is very meditative and gets my creativity pumping. When I’m looking for more holistic, life inspiration I go to the mountains (Greenwood Cemetery or Prospect Park, both walking distance from my house in Brooklyn, if I can’t get away). I grew up in the Catskills in upstate New York, and there is just something powerful about being on the top of a mountain and in nature. Nature is the original art.

Samantha De Tillio is an assistant curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. "Eye for Design" opens at MAD on June 7. Bookmarks is a series exploring what people are reading in print and online and where they find inspiration.