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Making America Modern: Interior Design... Meet the Author & Book Signing

Thursday, November 8, 2:30 pm to 3:15 pm (Versailles)

Meet author and design historian Marilyn F. Friedman who will be on hand to sign copies of her most recent publication, Making America Modern:Interior Design in the 1930s.

A valuable resource for design professionals, historians, and enthusiasts, this book chronicles the development of modern interior design in the United States during the 1930s. With archival images and detailed descriptions, Friedman presents more than one hundred interiors by fifty designers and architects, including work by design luminaries Donald Deskey, Paul T. Frankl, Cedric Gibbons, William Lescaze, Tommi Parzinger, Eugene Schoen, Walter Dorwin Teague, Joseph Urban, and Kem Weber. She also draws attention to lesser-known designers, including Joseph Aronson, Virginia Conner, Freda Diamond, Robert Heller, and Eleanor Le Maire. More than 200 photographs and renderings illustrate rooms spanning the economic spectrum, including private commissions, model homes, and exhibition displays.

The designers of the 1930s shared a determination to forge something new, rejecting the revivalism that had defined American design during the nineteenth century. They drew their inspiration from diverse influences, such as Art Deco, the Bauhaus, the Viennese Secession, Shintoism, and streamlining, and they embraced new concepts in construction, materials, and style. Over the course of the decade they developed a framework for modern interior design that was faithful to core principles of simplicity, practicality and comfort, while allowing for experimentation. In the end, that conceptual framework, more than any particular design style, defined American modern interior design in the 1930s.

Marilyn F. Friedman is a design historian whose work focuses on the development and popularization of modern design across America during the 1920s and 1930s. Born and educated in New York, Friedman studied design history at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, earning a Master of Arts degree, which led to her first publication, Selling Good Design: Promoting the Early Modern Interior (Rizzoli, 2003).

Marilyn F. Friedman will present on her work in the Decorative Arts and Design session Interiors and Objects, Thursday morning at 9:30 in the Boardroom.

Bauer and Dean Publishers, Inc.

Session chair

Bauer and Dean Publishers

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