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Twentieth-century decorative arts collection, 1928-1929

Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts Collection,

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Open Finding Aid

Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries
The Art Institute of Chicago

Finding Aid Published: 1996

Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts Collection, 1928-1929

Accession Number: 00.6

Electronic access to this finding aid was made possible through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
©Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. All rights reserved.

VIEW ALL DIGITIZED OBJECTS FROM THIS COLLECTION

COLLECTION SUMMARY:
TITLE:Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts Collection, 1928-1929
EXTENT:.25 linear foot (1 box)
REPOSITORY: Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries,
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603-6110
(312) 443-7292 phone
rbarchives@artic.edu
http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchives.html
ABSTRACT:Brochures and black and white photographs of interior design installations for B. Altman & Co. and the American Designers Gallery in New York City, c.1928-1929.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:Black and white photographic prints and printed papers.
ORIGINATION: Several small collections of photographs and printed documents about twentieth-century decorative arts have been gathered together by the Ryerson and Burnham Archives
within this general heading.
ACQUISITION INFORMATION:These items were a gift from Robert B. Harshe to The Art Institute of Chicago.

HISTORICAL NOTE:
The New York department store B. Altman & Co. sponsored an exhibition in 1928 of contemporary decorative arts by European and American designers. All items, both those in the room installations and those in The Little Shops, were for sale.

In 1928 a group of American designers, including Donald Deskey, Robert Locher, Henry Varnum Poor, Herman Rosse and others, established the American Designers' Gallery, Inc. to exhibit works of their own design and those of other contemporary American designers. The group held its first exhibition in the fall of 1928 at its gallery, at 145 W. 57th Street, New York City. The intent of this exhibition was to offer a group of rooms which are practical for people of average incomes living in medium sized houses or apartments. These rooms are without elaborate architectural features and are designed to show the attractiveness of contemporary furnishings under ordinary living conditions. (The Art News, March 16, 1929:7).

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE:
This collection includes printed brochures and black and white photographs documenting the presentations of furniture and decorative arts in model rooms. Although the brochure and photographs of the B. Altman room installations are undated, the brochure text suggests a date of c.1928. The collection also includes a catalog for an exhibition at the American Designers Gallery, with seven black and white photographs documenting the installations during the gallery's second exhibition, which opened March 15, 1929.

ORGANIZATION AND ARRANGEMENT:
SERIES I: B. ALTMAN & CO., NEW YORK CITY. AN EXHIBITION OF 20TH CENTURY TASTE IN THE NEW EXPRESSION OF THE ARTS IN HOME FURNISHINGS. The brochure is followed by photographs, in alphabetical order by designer.

SERIES II: AMERICAN DESIGNERS GALLERY, INC., NEW YORK CITY. The brochure is followed by photographs from the second exhibition, in alphabetical order by designer.

CONTROLLED ACCESS POINTS:
This collection and other related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs:
American Furniture Designers Gallery (New York, N.Y.)
Furniture design--United States--History--20th century--Exhibitions
Interior decoration--United States--History--20th century--Exhibitions

ABBREVIATIONS:
AbbreviationDefinition
BOX.FFBox #, Folder #
c.circa
N.B.nota bene
n.d.no date

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY:
Friedman, Marilyn F. "Defining Modernism at the American Designers' Gallery, New York" Studies in the Decorative Arts v. 14 no. 2 (Spring/Summer 2007), p.79-116

PHYSICAL LOCATION:
The collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS:
This collection may be used by qualified readers in the Reading Room of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained in off-site storage will be retrieved with advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule. For further information, consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchaccess.html

USER RESTRICTIONS:
The Art Institute of Chicago is providing access to the materials in the Libraries' collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of the Art Institute is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to permission from the Art Institute, permission of the copyright owner (if not the Art Institute) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distribution, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. The Art Institute makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

PREFERRED CITATION:
Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts Collection, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

PROCESSING INFORMATION:
The collection was processed by staff of the Ryerson and Burnham Archives in 1996. This finding aid was revised and expanded by Annemarie van Roessel in 2002.

CUSTODIAL HISTORY:
The items in this collection were transferred from the Robert B. Harshe records in Art Institute's Institutional Archives to the Ryerson and Burnham Archives in 1996.

ACCRUALS:
New materials may be added to this collection on an irregular basis.

ITEM INVENTORY:
LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES I: B. ALTMAN & CO. DEPARTMENT STORE

PUBLICATIONS:
Box.FF 1.1
B. Altman & Co. Department Store.
Printed brochure.
[1928] 1

IMAGES:
Box.FF 1.2
Bach, Oscar B., designer. Entrance to executive office.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Benda, W.T., designer. Dining room.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Campbell, Ruth, designer. Poppy room.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Dominique, designer. Salon section.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Falls, C.B., designer. Bedroom.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Falls, C.B., designer. Breakfast room.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Leleu, Jules, designer. Boudoir section.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Macguire, Robert Reid, designer. Chambre d'une jeune fille.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Macguire, Robert Reid, designer. Music room.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Ruhlmann, Emile Jacques, designer. Dining room.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Ruhlmann, Emile Jacques, designer. Library furniture.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 1
Box.FF 1.2
Savage, Steele, designer. Conversation room.
Black and white photographic print.
[1928] 2






LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES II: AMERICAN DESIGNERS GALLERY INC.

PUBLICATIONS:
Box.FF 1.3
Exhibition catalog.
[1928] 1

SECOND EXHIBITION IMAGES:
N.B. Identification taken from labels attached to photographs.
Box.FF 1.4
Deskey, Donald, designer. Living room.
Black and white  photographic print. 1. View of living room designed by Donald Deskey shown in the second exhibition of the American Designers Gallery. Furniture in American Walnut with aluminum bands and polished brass feet, upholstered in rayon satin. Wall hangings are by Ruth Reeves. Floor lamp is chromium plated, small lamp is chromium and brass. Combination bookcase and reading desk and radio cabinet. The library table and the coffee table are both in polished brass tubes and American Walnut, with edges bound with aluminum straps.
c.1929 1
Box.FF 1.4
Hoffman, Wolfgang, designer. Dining alcove.
Black and white  photographic print. 2. Dining alcove designed by Wolfgang Hoffmann shown in the second exhibition of the American Designers Gallery. The furniture in walnut is extremely practical for the small apartment or country house. The draperies and lampshade are designed by Pola Hoffmann. The color scheme is in shades of warm brown and beige.
c.1929 1
Box.FF 1.4
Karasz, Ilonka, designer. Dining room.
Black and white  photographic print. 3. View of dining-room designed by Ilonka Karasz, shown at the second exhibition of the American Designers Gallery. The furniture is of bird's eye maple. The upholstery fabric is rayon in two colours, designed by Ilonka Karasz. The window draperies match the paper, both being in ombre shades from light yellow to dark brown; by Adeline de Voo.
c.1929 1
Box.FF 1.4
Poor, Henry Varnum, designer. Dining alcove or porch.
Black and white  photographic print. 4. Elements of Dining alcove or Porch designed and executed by Henry Varnum Poor. Walls panelled in Tulip wood, table in Tulip wood, radiator cover in pierced tiles, luncheon set of pottery, two tile wall plaques for flowers. The woodwork, both panelling and table, uses the unit of a sawn board in the simplest way, all the elements in the construction being exposed and turned to decorative account. The table is fitted for outdoor use, being made entirely without glue, and allowance made for expansion and contraction.
c.1929 1
Box.FF 1.4
Reiss, Winold, designer. Living room.
Black and white  photographic print. 5. Living room designed by Winold Reiss shown in the second exhibition of the American Designers Gallery. The furniture in gray harewood veneer upholstered in grey; green fabrikoid piping. The fire place in rust proof metal. The glass curtain material is designed by Winold Reiss and the over draperies by Henrietta Reiss.
c.1929 1
Box.FF 1.4
Rosse, Herman, designer. Single bedroom.
Black and white  photographic print. 6. View of single bedroom designed by Herman Rosse shown in the second exhibition of the American Designers Gallery. Furniture of mahogany solid frame with veneer panels on stained maple bases, rosewood knobs and fittings. One may breakfast in bed comfortably at the table which is provided with outlets for a lamp and coffee percolator, and with bookshelves. The set of drawers contains a man's shirt file. The hangings are cretonne in fuchsia colours. Glass curtains are chiffon printed the same design and colour as the cretonne.
c.1929 1
Box.FF 1.4
Urban, Joseph, designer. Double bedroom.
Black and white  photographic print. 7. View of double bedroom designed by Joseph Urban shown in the second exhibition of American Designers Gallery. Furniture in natural finished Bubinger wood (or African rose) with enamelled black edges, bed covers, upholstery and hangings are in rayon. Complete color scheme is in various tones of rose-beige.
c.1929 1







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