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Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

From “Designing Women” to “Fixer Upper”

Afternoon Course

Monday, June 24, 2024 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0482
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Materials for this program

American interior designer Dorothy Draper (Library of Congress)

Join curator Elizabeth Lay Little, a regular lecturer on the topics of fashion, textiles, and American furniture, and her guests for an image-rich lunchtime series focusing on decorative arts and design topics.

Session Information

From “Designing Women” to “Fixer Upper”: The History of American Interior Design

The professional interior designer is a relatively modern concept. Prior to the 20th century, the decoration of the American home was often the duty of the architect and the lady of the house, more of a necessity than an art. However, the enterprising spirit of several stylish women at the turn of the century launched an industry that now generates more than 25 billion dollars a year in the U.S., defining what it means to live and look like an American at home.

Benjamin Bowery, a research fellow at the Preservation Society of Newport County (Rhode Island), examines the roots and evolution of American interior design, from the French-obsessed doyennes of the Gilded Age to the women decorating the mid-century boardroom. He discusses the designers, tastemakers, and business owners who defined the aesthetics of the modern era, including Elsie de Wolfe, Dorothy Draper, Mary and Russel Wright, and Florence Knoll.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Additional Sessions of this Lunchtime with a Curator Late Spring Series

General Information

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.