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Past Events

Special Access Museum, Gallery, and Archive Events

Older Special Access Events

Art Deco Architectural Treasures in the Avery Library
Saturday, January 25, 2020, 2:00–3:30 p.m.

Current ADSNY members were invited to join the Art Deco Society of New York as we kicked off 2020 with a behind-the-scenes program curated just for us!

In this exclusive tour, curator Jennifer Gray and archivist Mathieu Pomerleau presented exceptional pieces from the Avery’s extensive collection for our private viewing that were related to significant Art Deco architecture in the United States. The selection featured:

  • Original architectural drawings, sketches, photographs, and albums held in the Avery’s Department of Drawings and Archives

  • Primary materials created by renowned designers, such as Emery Roth, Raymond Hood, and Hugh Ferris

  • Works of iconic buildings, such as the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center

About our Hosts:

Jennifer Gray is Curator of Drawings and Archives at Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. She studies modern architectural history, with an emphasis on how designers used architecture, cities, and landscapes to advance social and spatial justice at the turn of the 20th century. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including a major retrospective, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, at The Museum of Modern Art. Her books include Frank Lloyd Wright: Unpacking the Archive (2017) and Frank Lloyd Wright tra America e Italia (2018).

Mathieu Pomerleau is Public Services Archivist of Avery Drawings & Archives at Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library. He provides research support and access to researchers wishing to use Avery Drawings & Archives extensive holdings and has a background in architecture and historic preservation.

The Art Deco Poster: An Exclusive Evening at Rennert’s Gallery
Thursday, October 10, 2019, 6:30–8:30 p.m.


ADSNY members participated in an exclusive, invitational evening reception and preview of the auction of Rare Posters at Rennert’s Gallery. The evening included a gallery talk-and-walk––led by poster expert and gallery owner Jack Rennert––that contains almost 100 of the most fine and rare Art Deco pieces that the gallery has ever featured.


The evening included an exclusive wine reception just for ADSNY members.


About the Speaker:

Jack Rennert is recognized throughout the world as a foremost authority in the field of poster art. He started his first poster company in 1964 and has become a notable speaker, dealer, and auctioneer since that time. Rennert has written a dozen books on the subject of poster art, including the definitive catalogue raisonnes for artists from Mucha to Cappitllo, as well as from Paul Colin to Tomi Ungerer.


An addition to his scholarship and intellectual contributions to the field, Rennert’s personal collection has been widely exhibited in museums around the world.  Currently, several of his Paul Colin posters are on view at the Nassau County Museum of Art’s exhibition, Anything Goes: The Jazz Age.

Revisiting Opening Day of the 1939 World’s Fair
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 1:00–5:00 p.m.


This special afternoon combined two unique programs into a single celebration of one of New York’s most revered events of the 1930s––the 1939 World’s Fair!


On the 80th anniversary of the opening of the spectacular Fair, on the very grounds where it took place, this celebration included a private tour of Flushing Meadows Park, the legendary Fairgrounds that were visited by over 44 million visitors, and an exclusive opportunity to see Fair ephemera from the archives of the Queens Museum selected specifically for us.


On the walking tour of Flushing Meadows Park, Ken Frenkel, our knowledgeable guide, shared interesting stories about the legendary sites that composed the grounds and the larger-than-life personalities that came together to plan the fair. As we heard tales of what daily visitors experienced we relived the excitement and drama of the fabled opening day. On this walk through the Park we learned more about the 700-foot-tall Trylon and the 200-foot-wide Perisphere; Norman Bel Geddes design for the fanciful Futurama sponsored by General Motors; Biily Rose’s Aquacade, the most successful production of the fair, housed in Sloan & Robertson’s stunning Art Deco amphitheater; and the streamlined buildings that stirred the imagination of a generation.


The walking tour ended at the only surviving building from the Fair, The New York City building––now the Queens Museum. After a short break, we were met by Louise Weinberg, the Archives Manager at the Queens Museum, who led us on our own, private tour of special World’s Fair memorabilia. The Museum owns more than 10,000 objects related to the Fair that commemorate its architectural and cultural symbols—the Trylon and Perisphere, The National Cash Register building, International Pavilions, Life Savers Parachute Jump, and so much more. These mementos––including tabletop radios, Tiffany’s collectible plates, jewelry, cosmetic cases, silverware, games, cane-seats, salt and pepper shakers, postcards, photo books, etc.––allowed the Fair’s impression of Utopia to linger long after it was demolished.


In addition to seeing the museum’s vast exhibition of ephemera on display in the World’s Fair Visible Storage, Weinberg shared with us important memorabilia from the Museum’s archive that are normally off-limits to the public.


We were delighted that we were able to offer this once-in-a-lifetime event on this memorable anniversary.


About the Guide:

Ken Frenkel has been a licensed NYC Sightseeing Guide for ten years, creating custom walking tours of the city and its art, architecture, and cultural history. A graduate of The City College of New York with a BA in Speech/Theatre Arts, Ken has often led romps across city streets and neighborhoods throughout a 35-year sales career. “It is immensely gratifying to show someone a detail or give context to a feature that was seen but never paid attention to; there is a new discovery waiting for someone around every corner.” In addition to his time spent as a private guide Ken also leads tours at The New York Historical Society, The Hudson River Park Trust, Open House New York, and, of course, the World’s Fair sites at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Exploring the Archives of the Fashion Institute of Technology
Thursday, March 7, 2019, 6:30–8:00 p.m.


Current ADSNY members enjoyed a rare opportunity to see dazzling treasures from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s expansive special collection!


In this exclusive program, Karen Jamison Trivette, Head of Special Collections and College Archives at the FIT, and Special Collections Associates, Emily Arbuckle, Curator of Rare Books and Periodicals, and Samantha Levin, Curator of Digital Assets, led a small group of ADSNY members on a tour of one-of-a-kind materials from the 1920s and 30s.


A few highlights included stunning, early designs from Coco Chanel that can’t be found anywhere else, mesmerizing color plates of designs from Sonia Delaunay, works by Maurice Dufrène from the 1925 Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes, a look into color fashion plates from Lanvin…just to name a few!


About the Speaker:

Professor Karen Jamison Trivette is the Head of Special Collections and College Archives (SPARC) in the Gladys Marcus Library at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She holds a Master of Library Science with a concentration in Archives and Records Management from the University at Albany and has worked primarily in art libraries and art archives. Trivette edited the publication Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style (2015), which was sourced from SPARC holdings, and has presented at many conferences, both national and international in scope. She recently oversaw a $4 million dollar renovation of the entire SPARC footprint, bringing it to a state-of-the-art condition for its valuable holdings.


Florenz Ziegfeld & Joseph Urban: Transforming Broadway
Saturday, February 2, 2019, from 2:00–3:30 p.m.


ADSNY members spent a memorable afternoon during a private, engaging gallery talk and exhibition tour of Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library’s exhibition exploring the paramount contributions of Florenz Ziegfeld and Joseph Urban to the transformation of Broadway theater.


On this private tour, led by curator Jennifer Lee, we saw treasures from the extensive Joseph Urban Archive, including a selection of gouache drawings, set models, and plans created by Urban for the Ziegfeld Follies from 1915–1931, along with playbills and photographs, sheet music and other one-of-a-kind materials. Highlights included original plans and ephemera illustrating the stage magic that Urban created for shows such as the Midnight Frolics, Century Girl, Sally, Rio Rita, Smiles, Show Girl, and Show Boat.


As Arnold Aronson wrote in the Wallach Gallery exhibition catalog Architect of Dreams (2000): “The significance of Urban’s work with Ziegfeld was in bringing artistic excellence, visual wit, and a sense of opulence to popular entertainments . . . it laid the groundwork for Broadway musicals for the rest of the century and for the Hollywood musicals of the 1930s and the extravaganzas of Busby Berkeley. Urban created, in other words, a new scenic and visual vocabulary that permeated popular consciousness.”




The Art Deco Poster: An Exclusive Evening at Rennert’s Gallery
Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 6:30–8:30 p.m.


ADSNY members participated in an exclusive, invitational evening reception and preview of the 75th auction of Rare Posters at Rennert’s Gallery. The evening included a gallery tour of the June 26th auction––led by poster expert and gallery owner Jack Rennert––that contains almost 100 of the most fine and rare Art Deco pieces that the gallery has ever featured.


Art Deco Highlights included the most acclaimed and rare works of Charles Loupot, a never-before-seen design by A.M. Cassandre, works by E. McKnight Kauffer, Raymond Gid, Otto Jacob Plattner, Michel Bouchaud, and Paul Colin, just to name a few. We also saw works by notable designers such as Alphonse Mucha, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, and so many more.


The evening included an exclusive wine reception just for ADSNY members.


About the Speaker:

Jack Rennert is recognized throughout the world as a foremost authority in the field of poster art. He started his first poster company in 1964 and has become a notable speaker, dealer, and auctioneer since that time. Rennert has written a dozen books on the subject of poster art, including the definitive catalogue raisonnes for artists from Mucha to Cappitllo, as well as from Paul Colin to Tomi Ungerer.


An addition to his scholarship and intellectual contributions to the field, Rennert’s personal collection has been widely exhibited in museums around the world.  Currently, several of his Paul Colin posters are on view at the Nassau County Museum of Art’s exhibition, Anything Goes: The Jazz Age.



Art Deco & An American Dynasty: The Legacy of the House of Tiffany
Thursday, March 8, 2018, 5:30–7:00 p.m.


ADSNY members were invited for a special evening to explore the Tiffany dynasty at Macklowe Gallery’s stunning new Park Avenue space.


Questions concerning the distinction between Tiffany & Co., established in 1837, and Tiffany Studios, created in 1900, have existed since the latter was established. Benjamin Macklowe, the President of Macklowe Gallery, related the story of these two iconic companies and the father/son duo that founded this American dynasty. In his illustrated talk, Macklowe explained how the changing taste of the Art Deco period impacted each house, and why Tiffany & Co. was able to adapt and grow with these changing trends. The talk focused on the history of the businesses before, during, and after the Art Deco movement, as well as the innovative and talented men behind the House of Tiffany.


Highlights of the presentation included:

  • The origin of Tiffany & Co., and how Charles Lewis Tiffany emerged as New York’s foremost jewelry and silver merchant–ultimately laying the foundation for the company to become a pioneer of design, quality, creativity, and commercial ideas.

  • How Louis Comfort Tiffany’s talent as an artist and trendsetter helped Tiffany Studios emerge at the pinnacle of the Modernist movement, using glass, gemstone, and enamel to celebrate nature and the art of exotic cultures.

  • The challenges inherent in keeping these businesses separate, though in collaboration, and why ultimately Louis Comfort Tiffany was forced to close down the furnaces at Tiffany Studios.

  • How Tiffany & Co emerged as The American Jeweler during the Art Deco era, from design innovation to social marketing.

  • How Tiffany & Co survived the Great Depression and positioned itself for America’s rebirth after World War II.


About the Speaker:

Benjamin Macklowe has appeared on television to discuss Tiffany lamps with Martha Stewart, lectured on the lamps and glassware of Louis Comfort Tiffany at Winterthur Museum and taught about Art Nouveau jewelry at Christie’s auction house and the 92nd Street Y. He has helped expand the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Dallas Museum, The Newark Museum, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, selling important decorative works of art and jewelry to add to these important collections. Under his leadership, Macklowe Gallery has become one of the world’s most respected dealers of antique and estate jewelry, French Art Nouveau decorative arts and the entire oeuvre of Louis Comfort Tiffany.


Modigliani Unmasked
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 6:30–7:30 p.m.


ADSNY members were taken on an exclusive guided tour at the Jewish Museum’s exhibition of approximately 150 rarely-seen paintings, sculptures, and drawings by celebrated early twentieth century artist Amedeo Modigliani. For many of these works, assembled for this exhibition from collections around the world, this was the first time they were seen in New York.


This evening tour highlighted how the artist articulated important period aesthetic principles and spotlighted Modigliani’s drawings in the context of the unprecedented artistic melting pot of Paris before and during the Jazz Age.


This tour also explored how Modigliani’s art incorporated the various multicultural influences prevalent in the design from the Art Deco movement—African, Greek, Egyptian, etc.—which inspired the young artist during this lesser-known early period.


Selling World War I in New York: Posters and Patriotism
Saturday, August 12, 2017, 2:00–3:30 p.m.


Historian and curator, Donald Albrecht, led us through his latest exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. We learned about how New York City’s artists and illustrators enlisted in the war effort as part of the federal government’s new Division of Pictorial Publicity and saw many posters created by individuals who would later become some of the most notable graphic designers and illustrators of the 1920s and 30s. As we explored the exhibition, Albrecht explained how the outpouring of posters, flyers, magazine art, sheet music covers, and other mass-produced images created by these designers and artists stirred the American public to wartime loyalty, duty, and sacrifice.


The tour included over 60 examples from the World War I poster collection of railroad executive and financier John W. Campbell, most of which were being exhibited for the first time.



The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s
Saturday, April 29 and Monday, April 24, 2017


Through two separate tours ADSNY members had the opportunity to explore the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s, with Cooper Hewitt curators, Sarah D. Coffin and Emily M. Orr, who led us on an exclusive guided tour of the museum’s new exhibition. This stunning exhibition of than 400 works of Jazz Age design graced two floors of the museum’s galleries. The exhibition showcased wall coverings, textiles, books, barware, furniture, architectural renderings, luxurious jewels, graphic design, fashion, and a wide range of industrial objects that explore the evolution of American taste during the 1920s.


Illuminating the Jazz Age: Lighting of Caldwell & Company
Thursday, March 30, 2017, 6:30–8:30 p.m.


ADSNY members had an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the rarely seen stunning Art Deco design renderings from the New York–based lighting and metalwork firm E.F. Caldwell Co. Selections from this extraordinary archive, a valuable treasure in the collection of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Library, will be on view for this special evening only for ADSNY members.


The event was led by Meg Caldwell—a descendant of the Caldwell family—and Catherine Acosta, who has reviewed all 13,000 drawings of the collection. Together, with Stephen Van Dyk, head of the Smithsonian Design Museum, Acosta has identified 1,000 drawings that exemplify elements of Art Deco style. Premier examples of Art Deco were hand selected for this event, as well as Art Moderne and Machine Age designs.


Included were some of the firm’s most well recognized designs from Radio City Music Hall and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, as well as exquisite Art Deco commissions from Detroit, Chicago, and as far west as Portland, Oregon.


Several of the firm’s design drawings were previews of those featured in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s, which opened on April 7, 2017.



Connoisseurship and Collecting: Modernism of the Art Deco Era
Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 6:30–8:00 p.m.


Auctioneer, appraiser, and antiques dealer, Nick Dawes, Heritage Auctions’ Vice President of Special Collections offered an insightful talk at an exclusive, ADSNY members-only evening at Heritage Auctions. Dawes, the author of three books on decorative arts as well as a featured appraiser on Antiques Roadshow, followed his talk with a private viewing featuring highlights from the upcoming twentieth century design auction, Through the Modernist Lens: A Distinctive Hollywood Collection of Art Deco and 20th Century Art. A wine reception concluded the evening.


Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture & Design
Thursday, January 19, 2017, 6:30–8:00 p.m.


ADSNY members had the opportunity to take a private tour of the first U.S. exhibition focused on the renowned French designer and architect Pierre Chareau. Our knowledgeable guide offered context to many of the over 180 rarely seen works gathered together for the first time from major public and private collections. Works on display included furniture, lighting fixtures, and interiors, as well as original designs for the extraordinary Maison de Verre.


Chareau’s custom furniture and interiors were designed to balance the opulence of traditional French decorative arts with interior designs that were elegant, functional, and in sync with the requirements of modern life. His innovative furniture, veneered in rare woods with occasional touches of exotic materials, had clean profiles and movable parts that appealed to the sensibilities of progressive society.


The exhibition also featured artistic works from Chareau’s own collection, which highlighted his circle of influential patrons, as well as his personal relationships with some of the period’s leading artists. This tour also included works from Piet Mondrian, Amedeo Modigliani, Jacques Lipchitz, and Max Ernst, in addition to the East Hampton home that Chareau designed for Robert Motherwell.


Egyptomania at the Met
Saturday, July 23, 2016, 3:00–5:00 p.m.


For this extraordinary tour, two expert Egyptologists, Colleen and John Darnell, led ADSNY on an exclusive tour through the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s stunning collection of Egyptian treasures and artifacts.


Our guides discussed how items in the Met’s collection and the 1922 discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by British Egyptologist Howard Carter and his patron George Herbert (the 5th Earl of Carnarvon) crystalized artistic and fashion trends, in which Egypt transitioned from being a source of increasingly common thematic borrowings in Art Nouveau, to becoming a prototype for an all-encompassing artistic tradition in the Art Deco era.


We learned how fascination with ancient Egypt––Egyptomania––has its roots in classical antiquity. In the past two thousand years, several periods have witnessed an efflorescence of Egyptian revival activity, including the Italian Renaissance, the Napoleonic Era, the mid-1800s, as well as the 1920s.


Through objects in the Met’s collection, our guides highlighted the overarching themes of Egyptian decoration that provided a model for many practitioners of the Art Deco style.


Egypt, of greater antiquity than Greece and Rome, wedded to an aspective art at odds with the perspective representations that had so dominated Western art since the Renaissance, was suddenly more relevant to a world of Cubists and Machine Age sculptors and manufacturers. Using the spectacular collections of the Metropolitan Museum, the Egyptomania tour explored different aspects of ancient Egypt that were incorporated into Art Deco design and fashion.


About the Guides:

John Coleman Darnell is Professor of Egyptology at Yale University. He is a specialist in Egyptian religion – particularly cryptographic texts – and rock inscriptions. He is a pioneer of desert road archaeology, making several ground-breaking discoveries in the Eastern and Western Deserts of Egypt as director of the Theban Desert Road Survey and Elkab Desert Survey Project.


Colleen Manassa Darnell teaches art history at the University of Hartford and other institutions, and has published widely on ancient Egyptian history and literature, including the genre of historical fiction in ancient Egypt.  As curator of the exhibition, “Echoes of Egypt: Conjuring the Land of the Pharaohs” at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, she edited a catalog of Egyptian revival art.


How Art, Fashion, Technology & Globalism Defined Art Deco Jewelry
Thursday, May 19, 2016, 6:30–8:00 p.m.


This special talk presented by Benjamin Macklowe, the President of Macklowe Gallery, explored the period between the First and Second World Wars—a time of radical change in modern life. Art, fashion, and broadened international communications all played key roles in defining the styles and tastes of the era that was most famously dominated by the geometric lines and striking simplicity of the Art Deco movement. In this lecture, Mr. Macklowe offered an in depth look at jewelry from the late 1910s to the late 1930s by exploring how different facets of the era came together to define a crucial moment in design history.


Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars
Sunday, January 24, 2016, 2:00–3:30 p.m.


ADSNY members enjoyed this curated tour of the first major museum exhibition devoted to the work of one of the most celebrated American authors of the twentieth century––Ernest Hemingway.


This tour gave us a glimpse into Hemingway’s creative process as we viewed inscribed copies of his books, personal photographs, multiple drafts of his earliest short stories, notebooks, heavily revised manuscripts, typescripts of his major novels, and much more. We’ll also heard stories of his legendary circle of expatriate writers in 1920s Paris, including Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Sylvia Beach. Our guide, Dede Kessler, also shared little known tales about Hemingway’s private life, the works that influenced him and his relationships with some of the leading figures of the Jazz Age.


Deco Secrets of the Brooklyn Museum
Thursday, January 21, 2016, 6:00–8:00 p.m.


We all have our secrets! This event gave ADSNY members a special opportunity to uncover the Art Deco secrets of the Brooklyn Museum.


Curator Barry R. Harwood took us on an enthralling exploration of works in the museum’s Decorative Arts and Design collection, in which discovered many delightful surprises. From Jean Dunand’s abstract geometric lacquer panel featured in the Weil-Worgelt Study, to Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann’s famous corner cabinet, we experienced magnificent Deco treasures on this tour.


Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist
Sunday, January 10, 2016, 2:00–3:30 p.m.


On this guided exhibition tour of the exhibition at the Whitney Museum, ADSNY members enjoyed Archibald Motley’s vivacious, bold, and highly original paintings that chronicle American life during the Jazz Age. His work became popular in the early days of the Harlem Renaissance, the cultural flowering of African American art, music, and literature.


On this private curated tour, ADSNY members learned how Motley created a far more daring visual language than many of his contemporaries, fusing vivid narratives with dizzying spatial distortion and jarring hues to produce striking settings for characters of diverse racial backgrounds and social classes. Although his portrayals range from serene and august portraits to abrasive or outrageous caricatures, all were his instruments for addressing the poignancy, folly, and complexity of modern life.


Superheroes in Gotham
Friday, November 20, 2015, 6:30–8:00 p.m.


Since their introduction in the 1930s, superheroes have been powerful role models, inspirational and enviable. Based on mythological archetypes, they reflect, respond to, and offer ways to navigate the twists and turns of modern life. Comic books are a great American art form, a cultural phenomenon born in New York City that now extends around the globe.


Superheroes in Gotham told the story of the birth of comic book superheroes in New York City; the leap of comic book superheroes from the page into radio, television, and film; the role of fandom, including the yearly mega event known as New York Comic Con; and the ways in which comic book superheroes, created in the 1930s through the 1960s, have inspired and influenced the work of contemporary comic book artists, cartoonists, and painters.


Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism
Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 6:30–8:00 p.m.


Donald Albrecht lead us on a private curated tour of his latest exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. On this tour we explored the contribution of a remarkable group of Jewish émigré and American-born designers and architects. Albrecht discussed how this exhibition examines a bold new direction in design and thought that helped create a modern domestic landscape.


The exhibition includes vintage furnishings, housewares, and graphic designs by Anni Albers, George Nelson, Richard Neutra, Alvin Lustig, Saul Bass, Ernest Sohn, and more than 25 other individuals who helped forge this important movement.


50 Years of New York City Landmarks: A Private Curated Tour
Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 6:30–8:00 p.m.


Curator Donald Albrecht took ADSNY members on an exclusive tour of his latest exhibition, Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks. This exhibition was presented to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Landmarks Law in New York City.


Saving Place highlighted the importance of New York’s Landmarks Law in the rebirth of New York in the late 20th century. It fostered pride in neighborhoods and resulted in neighborhood preservation in every borough, connecting and motivating residents and bringing new economic life to older communities. It ensured that huge swaths of the city remain a rich complex of new and old and contributed to the creative re-use of countless buildings.



ADSNY Donor Circle & Supporting Level Members Inside the National Design Library
Thursday, March 12, 2015, 7:00–8:30 p.m.


Stephen Van Dyk, Head of the Art Department of the Smithsonian Libraries, and his staff gave us a behind-the-scenes tour at the National Design Library adjacent to the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.


This unique opportunity to visit this research resource as well as to view and hear about treasures of the Art Deco period within the library’s rare book and special collections was truly wonderful. Attendees saw Deskey, Horwitt, Dreyfuss and Rohde design archives as well as rare photographs of Paris Art Deco from the Bonney collection in addition to key books, serials, trade catalogs and world’s fair material of the period.



Deco Secrets of the Museum of the City of New York
Friday, November 7, 2014, 6:30–8:30 p.m.


Everyone has their secrets! ADSNY members had a special opportunity to uncover the Deco secrets of the Museum of the City of New York.


Donald Albrecht gave us the inside scoop on the making of his many wonderful exhibitions and archivist Susannah Broyles gave us a behind-the-scenes viewing of photographs, renderings and other great items from the collection.


These are some of the wonderful items archivist Susannah Broyles highlighted from the Museum of the City of New York’s vast collection. She showed us some wonderful theatre costumes, renderings for unrealized pavilion proposals for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, architectural photographs, and so much more.


Bill Cunningham New York: Portrait of an Artist
Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 7:00–8:30 p.m.


This event was a free after-hours viewing of the New York Historical Society’s exhibition, Bill Cunningham: Facades, which showcases some of New York’s Art Deco icons, followed by a screening of the award-winning documentary Bill Cunningham New York––a delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of the photographer and cultural anthropologist. Members enjoyed a romp around New York through Cunningham’s lens from the late 1960s to the present.


This event was a partnership between the Art Deco Society of New York and the New York Historical Society.


Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 6:30–8:00 p.m.


Our members had a special curated tour of the exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions of the 1930s, displayed clothing spanning the decade between the Jazz Age the onset of WWII.


Through our tour we got a glimpse into how the decade created truly modern clothing, leading to the phenomenon of modern and elegant dressing in both women’s high fashion and men’s tailoring, as well as their respective accessories.


The curators spoke about 1930s fashions during one of the most tumultuous periods of modern western history. Set between the stock market crash in 1929 and the outbreak of war in Europe in 1939, culture during the interim was not only elegant, but also lighthearted, vibrant, and escapist. Elegance in an Age of Crisis was the first exhibition to feature a balanced view of both women’s high fashion and menswear.


Norman Bel Geddes: I have seen the future
Saturday, November 2, 2013, 3:00–4:30 p.m.


ADSNY members took a private curated tour of the Museum of the City of New York’s exhibition I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America with curator Donald Albrecht shortly after it opened to the public.


Norman Bel Geddes: I Have Seen the Future was the first major exploration of the stage and industrial designer whom The New York Times dubbed “the Leonardo da Vinci of the 20th century.” A visionary who was equally comfortable in the realms of fact and fiction, Bel Geddes (1893-1958) played a significant role in the 1920s and ’30s, shaping not only modern America but also the nation’s image of itself as innovator and leader into the future.


Bel Geddes most famously expressed his dynamic vision of this American future—streamlined, technocratic and optimistic–with his unforgettable Futurama exhibition at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair. Bringing together 200 never-before-seen drawings, models, photographs and films of theater sets and costumes, housing projects and appliances, airplanes and automobiles, the exhibition underscored the fact that Bel Geddes sought nothing less the transformation of American society through design.


Our ADSNY members enjoyed this special event that began with a private discussion with Donald Albrecht about the exhibition, followed by smaller groups of ADSNY members moving through the galleries with Donald to inform and answer questions.


Propaganda and Slogans: The Political Poster in Soviet Ukraine, 1919–1921
Wednesday, January 22, 2014, 6:30–8:00 p.m.


This was an ADSNY-exclusive after hours curated tour of the exhibition Propaganda and Slogans, The Political Poster in Soviet Ukraine, 1919-1921 at the Ukrainian Museum. The exhibition features 28 original posters rarely seen in the United States in a survey of early political propaganda generated by the Soviet regime to garner support from Ukrainians. Lesser known then their Russian counterparts, the posters are nonetheless exemplary of the modernist graphic design sensibility of the era.


Our members had the opportunity to explore the politics behind the propaganda, and their artistic expression. Indeed, the artistic appeal of the posters was as much a part of the propaganda effort as the political messages it generated. The curator gave us a heartfelt and educational glance into how the political poster became a powerful tool by providing immediately understandable messages in the form of vivid imagery and bold typography.


The artistry of the poster was also admired for its formal qualities and quickly gained important cultural status, which it retained for the seven decades of Soviet rule. Posters were massed-produced. They adorned streets and shop windows, and served as backdrops to political rituals, such as processions and public meetings. The poster was used to reinforce the new state’s directives and to convey a positive image of the new regime. This was a rare opportunity to learn about works that have maintained their artistic impact long after the fall of the Soviet Union.

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