The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s is the first major museum exhibition to focus on American taste in design during the exhilarating years of the 1920s. The exhibition examines a broad spectrum of design showing the multidimensional aspect of American style in this decade. Through 400 works drawn from both public and private collections, the exhibition explores all aspects of design from day to night: architecture, interior design, decorative art, jewelry and fashion, music and film.
“Exploring the significant impact of European influences, the explosive growth of American cities, avant-garde artistic movements, new social mores and the role of technology, ‘The Jazz Age’ will seek to define the American spirit of the period,” said Cooper Hewitt Director Caroline Baumann. “Through an innovative interpretive presentation on the third-floor Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery and a portion of the second floor, the exhibition will delight the eye, draw connections across media and present a new narrative for art and design in this vibrant era.”
Five-Piece Coffee and Tea Service, 1929. Gebelein Silversmiths (American, Boston, 1908-1960). George Christian Gebelein (American, b. Germany, 1878-1945), designer. Silver, ebonized wood; tea kettle on stand with burner: h. 31.9 (overall); coffee pot: h. 25.2; teapot: h. 22.3 cm; covered sugar bowl: h. 21 cm; creamer: h. 16 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Anonymous Gift, 1986.778a-c. Photo: © 2017 Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
Actaeon, 1925. Paul Manship (American, 1885-1966). Bronze; 121.2 x 128.7 x 31.7 cm. David Owsley Museum of Art, Frank C. Ball Collection, gift of the Ball Brothers Foundation, 1995.035.164.
Egyptian Bracelet, ca. 1925; Produced by Lacloche Frères (Paris, France); Diamonds, turquoise, sapphires, mother-of-pearl, onyx, black pearls, smoky quartz, tourmaline, gold, platinum; 17.9 x 4 cm (7 1/16 x 1 9/16 in.); Private Collection; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Mystery Clock with Single Axle, ca. 1921; Produced by Cartier (Paris, France); Owned by Anna (Mrs. Horace) Dodge (American, 1869–1970). Gold, platinum, ebonite, citrine, diamonds, enamel; 12.9 x 9.7 x 4.8 cm (5 1/16 × 3 13/16 × 1 7/8 in.); Cartier Collection, Inv. CM 29 C21; Photo: Marian Gerard, Cartier Collection © Cartier
Purse, c. 1920-30. Van Cleef & Arpels (French, Paris, est. 1896). Gold, enamel, diamonds, sapphires, silk, cotton; 21.2 x 16 x 2.5 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Lyon, 2009.378.
Drawing, Textile Design: Party Ashtray, 1930-31; Designed by Donald Deskey (American, 1894-1989); White, blue, and orange pastel on black wove paper; 16 x 13.1 cm (6 5/16 x 5 3/16 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Gift of Donald Deskey, 1975-11-20; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Delphos dress and jacket with box, 1939; Designed by Mariano Fortuny (Spanish, active Italy 1871-1949); Manufactured by Societa Anonima Fortuny (Venice, Italy); Dress: pleated silk; Jacket: stencil-printed silk velvet; Dress: 162.6 x 35.6 cm (5 ft. 4 in. x 14 in.); Jacket: 91.4 x 86.4 cm (36 x 34 in.) Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Museum purchase from the Members’ Acquisitions Fund of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, 2016-28-1-a,b; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Doors for the Music Room of Mr. and Mrs. Solomon R. Guggenheim, 1925-26; Designed by Seraphin Soudbinine (French, b. Russia 1870-1944); Executed by Jean Dunand (French, b. Switzerland, 1877-1942); Made in Paris, France; Carved, joined, and lacquered wood, eggshell, mother-of-pearl, gold leaf, cast bronze; 271.2 x 65.9 x 7.6 cm (8 ft. 10 3/4 in. x 25 15/16 in. x 3 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Gift of Mrs. Solomon R. Guggenheim, 1950-104-1/4; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Dressing Table and Bench, ca. 1929; After Lèon Jallot (French, 1874-1967); Retailed by Lord & Taylor (New York, New York, USA); Lacquered joined wood, mirrored glass, metal; Dressing table: 79.3 x 105.4 x 60.3 cm (31 1/4 x 41 1/2 x 23 3/4 in.); Bench: 49.5 x 54.8 x 31.5 cm (19 1/2 x 21 9/16 x 12 3/8 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Gift of James M. Osborn, 1969-97-7-a/I; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Sky-scraper Tea Service, 1928; Designed by Louis W. Rice (American, b. Germany 1872-1933); Produced by Apollo Studios (New York, New York, USA); Silver-plated brass; Teapot: 16.5 x 15.6 x 11.7 cm (6 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 4 5/8 in.); Sugar bowl: 11.5 x 13 x 8 cm (4 1/2 x 5 1/8 x 3 1/8 in.); Creamer: 12 x 13 x 6.7 cm (4 3/4 x 5 1/8 x 2 5/8 in.); Tray: 11.5 x 37 x 28.3 cm (4 1/2 x 14 9/16 x 11 1/8 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Promised gift of George R. Kravis II; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Screen, ca. 1928; Designed by Donald Deskey (American, 1894-1989); Silver leaf, lacquered wood, cast metal (hinges); Right Panel: 198.1 x 46.4 cm (6 ft. 6 in. x 18 1/4 in.); Center Panel: 168.3 x 61 cm (5 ft. 6 1/4 in. x 24 in.); Left Panel: 153 x 46.4 cm (60 1/4 x 18 1/4 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Promised gift of George R. Kravis II; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
“The New Yorker” (Jazz) Punch Bowl, 1931; Designed by Viktor Schreckengost (American, 1906–2008); Manufactured by Cowan Pottery Studio (Rocky River, Ohio, USA); Glazed, molded earthenware; 29.9 x 42.2 cm (11 3/4 x 16 5/8 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Gift of Mrs. Homer Kripke, 1980-21-7; Photo: © Smithsonian Institution
Drawing, Study for Maximum Mass Permitted by the 1916 New York Zoning Law, Stage 4, 1922; Designed by Hugh Ferriss (American, 1889-1962); Black crayon, stumped, pen and black ink, brush and black wash, varnish on illustration board; 66.8 x 51 cm (26 5/16 x 20 1/16 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Gift of Mrs. Hugh Ferriss, 1969-137-4; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Skyscraper Bookcase Desk, c. 1928. Paul T. Frankl (American, b. Austria, 1886-1958). California redwood, black lacquer; 219.7 x 163.8 x 85.1 cm. Grand Rapids Art Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John Halick, 1984.7.2.
Muse with Violin Screen (detail), 1930. Rose Iron Works, Inc. (American, Cleveland, est. 1904). Paul Fehér (Hungarian, 1898-1990), designer. Wrought iron, brass; silver and gold plating; 156.2 x 156.2 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, On Loan from the Rose Iron Works Collections, LLC, 352.1996. © Rose Iron Works Collections, LLC. Photo: Howard Agriesti
Brooklyn Bridge, 1919-20; Joseph Stella (American, b. Italy 1877-1946); Oil on canvas; 215.3 x 194.6 cm (84 3/4 x 76 5/8 in.); Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Collection Société Anonyme; Photo: Yale University Art Gallery
Tourbillons Vase, 1926; Designed by Suzanne Lalique (French, 1892–1989); For René Lalique (French, 1860–1945); Pressed, carved, acid-etched and enameled glass; 20.1 x 17.5 cm (7 15/16 x 6 7/8 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Museum purchase through gift of Anonymous Donor, 1969-20-1; Photo: © Smithsonian Institution
Poster, ITF Internationale tentoonstelling op filmgebied (International Film Exhibition), 1928; Designed by Piet Zwart (Dutch, 1885-1977); Letterpress on wove paper; 85 x 61 cm (33 7/16 in. x 24 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Museum purchase through gift of Susan Hermanos, Judith and Charles Bergoffen, Cathy Nierras, and Anonymous Donors and from Drawings and Prints Council and General Acquisitions Endowment Funds, 2013-20-1; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Textile, Tissu Simultané no. 46 (Simultaneous Fabric no. 46), 1924; Designed by Sonia Delaunay (French b. Russia, 1885-1979); Printed silk; 46.5 x 65 cm (18 5/16 x 25 9/16 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Museum purchase through gift of Friedman Benda, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Ruth Kaufmann, Patricia Orlofsky and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 2012-2-1; Photo: © Smithsonian Institution
AD-65 Radio, designed 1932, manufactured 1934; Designed by Wells Wintemute Coates (Canadian, 1895-1958); Manufactured by E.K. Cole, Ltd. (England); Compression molded Bakelite, chromium-plated metal, woven textile; 38.1 x 35.6 cm (15 x 14 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Promised gift of George R. Kravis II; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Daybed, 1933-1935; Designed by Frederick Kiesler (American, b. Austro-Hungarian Empire 1890-1965); Birch-faced plywood, tulip poplar, nickel-plated steel; 96.5 x 116.8 x 127 cm (38 x 46 x 50 in.); Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; Gift of Virginia Bayer, 2014-27-1-a/e; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
The exhibition is organized by Sarah Coffin, curator and head of product design and decorative arts at Cooper Hewitt and Stephen Harrison, curator of decorative art and design at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Images courtesy Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.