“The Machine in the Garden” exhibition at the NMMA, curated by Klaudijo Štefančić owes its title to the book of the American literary and cultural historian Leo Marx “The Machine in the Garden - Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America”, who has died on 8 March at the age of 102. Professor Marx’s reaction to the exhibition which refers to his landmark book, as well as the catalogue we sent to him, was, according to his relatives, more than joyful.

Marx was born in 1919 in New York City. He had been a student of history and literature at the universities in Cambridge and Harvard. During World War II, he served as a captain in the US Navy on a sub-chaser. After the war, he earned a doctorate at Harvard and then lectured at the universities in Amherst and Nottingham (United Kingdom). He published the book “The Machine in the Garden” in 1964 and helped define a new research field of American studies i.e., cultural studies. In 1976, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, together with a group of researchers, he helped build a new program (“Program in Science, Technology and Society”) with the intention of drawing attention to the complex relationship between science, society and art. After having retired, he continued lecturing at MIT until 2015. After his death, The New York Times paid tribute to Leo Marx: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/11/books/leo-marx-dead.html

Image: Cover page from the Machine in the Garden exhibition in NMMA. Design: Ana Zubić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb 2022
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