In an effort to define modernism for a broad audience, architect/designer Alexander Girard curated the Exhibition for Modern Living at the Detroit Institute of Arts during the winter of 1949. It was a ground breaking exhibit that brought modernism down from the mountain and allowed people to see that modern design was intended to make life more pleasant:
"Modern design implies shape for use, simplicity, new forms to utilize new materials, easier housekeeping, and honest expression of mass production... Up the richly carpeted ramp, viewers walk up to a dining room done by Alvar Aalto; past two studies Bruno Mathsson and Jean Risom and a bedroom and living-room representing a variety of designers; then up another level to a space furnished by Charles Eames; and finally to a small balcony overlooking George Nelson's living area. The quiet simplicity of the rooms and the gentle tones of symphonic music have people talking in whispers. Sighed one woman: 'I'd like to live here.'"