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Get The Correct Time


The Design Museum of Chicago's current exhibition, The Correct Time, expands upon an artwork initiated in 1989 by Barbara Koenen (that's me!). The exhibit is collecting 720 donated broken clocks, one for each minute in 12 hours, because even a broken clock is right twice a day.


There are alarm clocks, cuckoo clocks, watches and clock radios. Mechanical clocks, battery-powered, winders and a grandfather clock too! With each clock set to a different minute, once there are 720, it will always read the correct time!


The exhibit also features musings on time by renowned Chicagoan Art Paul, and some fantastic clockfaces designed by Chicago graphic designers. Visit the Earth Clock and several interactive displays. You can read letters sent in by clock donors telling stories of where it had been or how it had affected their life. There will be some clock tours, a scavenger hunt, show + tell, a periodic hanging of new clocks and several other "timely" events, so stay tuned...




Do you have a broken timepiece to donate? Find out how to donate here.


Writes Tanner Woodford, exhibit curator and Director of the Design Museum,


Time is curious. We cannot see, touch, or taste it, yet we experience it through the motion of the sun, reverberation in music, and the changing of seasons. We measure time obsessively, and make it visible through the design of clocks, which convey graphic and information design through form, color, shape, lines, and typography. Clocks also demonstrate personality, foster innovation, and can even highlight power dynamics. Another curious thing about time is that it only moves one direction, forward. This exhibition serves as a reminder that despite our differences, time is one of the things that unites us all.



The exhibit is free. It is located at 72 E. Randolph Street, across from the Chicago Cultural Center. It runs through October 2, 2022.








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