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Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Mid-century Modern Furniture Connoisseurship

Afternoon Course

Monday, October 4, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0170
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Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Top: FENDI's Roman Molds collection by Kueng Caputo (Photo: DesignBoom) Bottom: Womb Chair by Eero Saarinen 1948 (Photo: Knoll Internationa)

Save when you purchase the Lunchtime with a Curator fall series!

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.

Session Information

Mid-century Modern Furniture Connoisseurship
How To Spot the Knock-offs

The appeal of mid-century modern design is on the rise as buyers embrace designs by Mies van der Rohe, Charles and Ray Eames, and Eero Saarinen among others. You can browse online and find every mid-century modern furniture classic knocked off and sold for a tenth of the price of the real thing.  The differences are subtle, but if you put the original side by side with the reproductions the differences are clear. Furniture scholar Oscar P. Fitzgerald joins Lay to examine a selection of Knoll, Herman Miller, and Scandinavian modern furniture classics and reveals how to evaluate the authenticity of such examples. He demonstrates what to look for in the construction and fittings hidden under chair seats and inside case pieces to identify the real thing from a modern copy.

Fitzgerald retired as director of the U.S. Navy Museum and curator of Tingey House in Washington, D.C., to pursue fulltime his passion for the history of American furniture. His publications include a catalog of the nationally known Smithsonian Renwick Gallery studio furniture

Additional Sessions

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