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Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Midcentury Modern

Daytime Program (Session 1 of 3-Session Series)

Friday, January 15, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0058
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Clockwise: Chair by Charles Eames (American History Museum), Model AD-65 Radio (Cooper Hewitt), Au Jardin des Hespérides (In the Garden of the Hesperides), Gazette du Bon Ton (Journal of Good Taste), Vol. 1, No. 11 (Cooper Hewitt)

Save $15 when you purchase all 3 sessions of this Lunchtime with a Curator course!


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.

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

Lay is a textile historian and the curator at Montgomery History’s Beall Dawson House and Stonestreet Museum in Rockville, Maryland. She is an adjunct professor of 20th century fashion at the Smithsonian–Corcoran School of Art and Design at George Washington University.

Session Information

Midcentury Modern: How Immigrants Shaped American Design

America experienced a wave of European migrants during the early 20th century, some of whom were escaping war and oppression, while others sought opportunities in a growing democracy. These immigrants included giants of architecture and design: Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Laszlo Moholy Nagy, Eliel and Loja Saarinen, and Joseph and Anni Albers. Each took up teaching positions, inspiring the next generation of designers and architects such as Charles and Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, and Jack Lenore Larson. Lay examines how the contributions of their work and teachings changed the face of American design.

Additional Sessions

If you are interested in additional Lunchtime with a Curator sessions, view the upcoming winter schedule:

Patron Information

  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.