Design Duet

Robert Keith Black and J. Ormond Sanderson, Jr.

By Tom Patterson, Roger Manley

Design Duet

124 pp., 8 x 10, 106 color images

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9831-2179-4
    Published: March 2018

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Distributed for the Gregg Museum of Art and Design, NC State University

Robert Black and Ormond Sanderson are pivotal figures in North Carolina’s art and design worlds, not only for being among the first in the state to usher in modern interior design, but also for their own major accomplishments as artists.

In the late 1950s, just as Research Triangle Park began turning central North Carolina into a magnet for modern technology, Black and Sanderson’s Strawvalley design complex introduced fine crafts by skilled local artisans alongside furniture and consumer goods created by such well-known architect/designers as Mies van der Rode, Harry Bertoia, Eero Saarinen, Marcel Breuer, and le Corbusier. At the same time, they pursued their own distinctively innovative art work.

Design Duet includes a number of Robert Black’s striking collage-paintings and award-winning contemporary stoneware alongside the exquisitely etched and glazed enamels that led the organizers of the 1964 New York World’s Fair to choose Ormond Sanderson to represent the best of American art in its United States Pavilion. These are presented in the context of the stunning contemporary home they created from an abandoned rural school.

This book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Design Duet: the creative lives of Robert Keith Black and J. Ormond Sanderson, Jr., March 15 through September 9, 2018.