32nd Annual Houston Antiques Dealers Association Lecture: "When America Went Modern: Design in the 1920s and 1930s"

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

This lecture explores the varied influences and myths surrounding the appearance of modern decorative arts during the Jazz Age and the popularization of the style during the Depression. The earliest promoters of modern design in America were European émigrés who helped form a quintessentially American version of modernism that borrowed freely from a range of global influences.

This talk looks at how American manufacturers and craftsmen, although skeptical of modernism at first, eagerly embraced the new style and applied it to furniture, housewares, textiles, silver and glass. For many Americans, the idea of "going modern" meant more than simply buying objects in the latest style but implied adopting a new worldview. As a result, modern design became tied to social and cultural issues, such as Prohibition, and celebrated innovations in architecture, transportation and new materials.

Presented by John Stuart Gordon, Benjamin Attmore Hewitt associate curator of American decorative arts, Yale University Art Gallery. A reception to meet the speaker follows the lecture. 



Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005


Admission is free; tickets are required.
All events are subject to change due to weather or other concerns. Please check with the venue or organization to ensure an event is taking place as scheduled.