American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age

This exhibition of more than 125 important works by some fifty designers explores the rise of an unmistakably American, undeniably modern design style that developed during a fifteen-year period between the world wars.

This exhibition of more than 125 important works by some fifty designers explores the rise of an unmistakably American, undeniably modern design style that developed during a fifteen-year period between the world wars. Curated by J. Stewart Johnson and drawn from the collections of John C. Waddell and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition reveals the influence of Art Deco and functionalism, tracing the emergence of the streamline aesthetic at a time when economic, industrial, and technological conditions were changing the course of design in the United States. Featured are a wide array of objects, many of which have become iconic of the era, that are distinguished by the absence of traditional ornament, the use of new technologies and materials, and the application of techniques of mass production. Furniture, appliances, tableware, textiles, and graphics by leading designers, among them Norman Bel Geddes, Donald Deskey, Raymond Loewy, Lurelle Guild, Eliel Saarinen, and Frank Lloyd Wright, are presented.

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ITINERARY

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
May 16, 2000–February 4, 2001
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
May 26–August 19, 2001
Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI
September 14–December 16, 2001
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
January 11–April 7, 2002
Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC
May 3–July 28, 2002
Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK
August 23–November 10, 2002

Publication

American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age

Authors: J. Stewart Johnson
Publishers: American Federation of Arts & Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Dimensions: 9 3/4 × 9 3/4 in.
Format: Softcover, 192 pages (out of print)
ISBN: 1-885444-12-5

More Info

Curator

J. Stewart Johnson is a Consultant for Design and Architecture in the Department of Modern Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Credit

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Federation of Arts. Support has been provided by the National Patrons of the AFA.