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Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Fashion Influencers of the 20th Century

Daytime Program (Session 3 of 3-Session Series)

Friday, February 12, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0060
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
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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.


Fashion Influencers of the 20th Century

Long before social media, fashion was inspired by kings and queens, great ladies and grand mistresses. However, the 20th century presented a new breed of professional woman who wielded the power to shape our ideas of style. Lay profiles several of them: Costume designer Edith Head of Paramount Pictures; Eleanor Lambert, the first PR executive for fashion designers; Diana Vreeland, who changed the face of fashion magazines; and Dorothy Shaver, president of Lord & Taylor, the first retail executive to actively promote American designers.


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


  • 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.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.