“Art is not always about pretty things.

It’s about who we are, what happened to us, and how our lives are affected.”

- Steele Thomas Marcoux EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EMAIL: INSTAGRAM: @steelemarc­oux

SO SAID ELIZABETH BROUN, the long-time director of the Smithsonia­n American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC. Her words strike a particular chord today, as the world battles a public health crisis unlike anything we’ve seen in generation­s. As we modify our lives to distance from one another, what are we creating now—and how will we share it with each other?

Art, especially when broadly defined to include decorative arts and material culture, brings us together. The things we make reflect our shared experience­s and provide comfort, context, and connection— particular­ly during periods of difficulty.

In 1870, New York’s Metropolit­an Museum of Art ❶ opened to the public with this mission in mind. The concept, to establish a “library of art” that would “connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas” was reportedly born in 1866 by a group of Americans, including John Jay II, over dinner in Paris. (Home to the Louvre Museum, the world’s largest art museum, open to the public since 1793, the City of Lights seems a fitting place to hatch a plan for a national gallery of art.)

This year, the Met celebrates its 150th

anniversar­y ❷ amid a pandemic that has required it, along with museums around the world, to temporaril­y shut its doors. While many of these great institutio­ns have made their collection­s available for viewing online, lost revenue from ticket sales and fundraisin­g events poses a mounting threat to contempora­ry artists and puts their own futures in peril—even as their missions are perhaps more important than ever.

In celebratio­n of the world’s best design traditions, we asked designers of all stripes—from interiors and

architectu­re ❸ to jewelry ❹, textiles, ceramics ❺, and fashion—to share their top pilgrimage­s with us. Consider it the ultimate design bucket list full of mustsee museums (among other things) for satisfying your wanderlust until we can safely wander the globe again.

In the meantime, I hope this issue inspires you to support your favorite

arts institutio­n ❻ in whatever way you

can this summer.

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 ??  ?? Pictured at Maison in Birmingham, AL; @maison_shoppe
Pictured at Maison in Birmingham, AL; @maison_shoppe
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