The collections of four Barcelona museums have been consolidated at a new venue that offers an in-depth look at the art of objects and design. Museu del Disseny de Barcelona houses the exhibits previously held by the Museu de les Arts Decoratives (decorative arts), the Museu de Ceràmica (ceramics), the Museu Tèxtil i d’Indumentària (textiles and clothing) and the Gabinet de les Arts Gràfiques (graphic arts), and celebrates the object in all its forms, from concept and design through to production to use, and covers artisanal and pre-industrial periods to the industrialised and digital ages. The amalgamated collection consists of more than 70,000 objects, ranging from the fourth century AD to the present, and includes internationally-renowned exhibitions of medieval fabrics and 16th Century Catalan glass and ceramics among others.
One of the most interesting of the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona’s permanent shows is Graphic Design: from trade to profession (1940-1980). The field was, at the end of the Spanish Civil War, referred to as poster or advertising art, but in the post-war years the practitioners professionalised the industry and became recognised as graphic artists, and then graphic designers. A recognisably Spanish aesthetic – with outside influences from Switzerland, France, and Anglophone countries – gave rise to a unique style which is thoroughly explored here through the donations of many professional bodies. The collection is still under construction and further periods are set to have their own exhibitions in the future.