Jen Larson

From 2009-2011, Jen served as Project Archivist for the Michael Kalil collection at the Kellen Design Archives (now The New School Archives and Special Collections). Her academic background is in fine and applied arts, design and material culture history, and library and information science, with an emphasis on archival management. In 2011, she moved on to her current post as Assistant Visual Resource Manager for the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In addition to her interests in archival arrangement, cataloging and the development of digital archival resources, Jen is drawn to research about the history of industrialization and technological development (18th-21st centuries) and how those impact and become embodied within our individual and collective cultural and aesthetic notions of the past and future.

Michael Kalil’s work is particularly engaging as a topic of study because his life and career intersects in very compelling ways with the history of modernist and postmodern design, Cold War politics and also the Space Age.  Also important to note is that Kalil’s career materialized on the cusp of the “Information Age”, and he is perhaps one of the lesser recognized designers who fully embraced the integration of natural forms and materials with digital and robotic technologies.  Through her blog entries, Jen hopes to share information, archival evidence, anecdotes and resources that will illuminate Kalil’s rather unique legacy in the history of late 20th century, American interior architecture.