Wednesday, April 19, 2017

EXHIBITION: Visions of Art Deco and beyond at Cooper Hewitt in NYC

stunning exhibition of Art Deco style and beyond is currenty on view
at The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s at the Cooper Hewitt 
Smithsonian Design Museum, NYC.

A gondola-shaped sofa designed by Marcel Coard (c. 1925)
The textile above it is Fire by Yvonne Cllarinval (1925)
Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

1925 brooch by Parisian jeweler Boucheron in diamonds, platinum, 
carved lapis, onyx, coral and jade

Art Deco, perhaps the most popular of all modern design styles (who doesn't love it?)
is characterized by its sleek, streamlined look which is at once
sensuous and futuristic.  

Jewelry, bead-encrusted evening purses and cigarette cases
were particularly desirable items to Art Deco lovers during the Roaring Twenties.
They allowed the buyer to enter the market at an acceptable
price point, and build her/his collection to include larger, pricier items 
such as furniture, lacquered screens and evening gowns.

 Lacy detail of a firescreen by Edgar Brandt, wrought iron and gilding, 1925
The dancing lady at the center is a familiar logo of Art Deco styling.
Many decorative objects in the Art Deco style mimic the shapes of skyscrapers,
which were in their heyday in the 1920s and 30s.

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Below: two photos from Energizing the Everyday: the George R. Kravis II collection,
a 2016 exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt
(both featured in a Mad for Mod posting , June 2016)

Chromium-plated Manhattan cocktail service, 1934, Norman Bel Geddes,
 The Manhattan skyline served as muse to many designers
of the 1930s, with its outline evoking the modernity of the metropolis.

 Skyway Salt and Pepper Shakers, 1939, Russel Wright
These stainless steel & bakelite beauties are labor-saving 
(no polishing required) and whimsically modern.

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If you're an Art Deco fan and you haven't yet seen any episodes of
Miss Fisher's Mysteries, run -- don't walk -- to your nearest DVD store, 
or check out the streaming service (no .com)

Australian actress Essie Davis plays Phryne Fisher -- a headstrong and lusciously 
attired detective in opulent 1920s Melbourne -- on ABC's
runaway hit. She often shows up at the scenes of grisly murders
dressed like this (see below), usually coming from a cocktail party or a hot date.

Just a few hats from Phryne's overflowing closet

The Art Deco exhibition runs through through Sunday, Aug. 20.
For more information, visit

“A multisensory blockbuster of a show…” —Associated Press


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