Exploring Tops in “Serious Play” Posted August 6, 2019 by Marlow Hoffman

In this video, Eames Office education director, Carla Hartman, is at the Denver Art Museum with Darrin Alfred, co-curator of Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America. Watch them explore and delight in the richness of tops, both as objects and a film.

The Eames Office took the opportunity to explore the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America with our education director, Carla Hartman, and the show’s co-curator, Darrin Alfred.

This second video clip showcases an installation of twin screenings of the 1969 film Tops. Also on view is a broad selection of tops from the Eames Office archives—which Charles and Ray used in making their film—and new tops with which visitors can play.

This section of the exhibition “is really a tour de force of exploration of tops from all over the world,” Hartman notes. Alfred watches her spin one across the table. He says, “we forget…just how beautiful something like a top can be, and I think it was really Charles and Ray’s idea to sort of remind us of that beauty and uniqueness.”

Explore the show through the eyes of Alfred and Hartman by watching the video above. You can also find out what made Charles and Ray’s clothing so unique by watching last week’s clip here.

Serious Play is on view through August 25, 2019. Stay tuned for additional glimpses into the exhibition in the coming weeks.