This exhibition was on display from April 07, 2017 to August 20, 2017.

There were 409 objects in this exhibition but right now we can only show you 400 of them. Some objects may not be viewable because they were on loan; this might be due to issues involving image rights or simply because there is no digitized image for the objects.

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A creative explosion in design and art lit up the 1920s. The Jazz Age explores the dynamic changes in American taste and lifestyles during this period through a broad range of furniture, jewelry, fashion, textiles, decorative arts, and architecture, as well as art, film, and music. The influences that fueled this burst of innovation, exoticism, and modernity were manifold and flowed back and forth across the Atlantic. Jazz music, a uniquely American art form that sprang from African American musicians who preserved and improvised on its historic roots, also found a ready audience in Europe. An apt metaphor for the era’s embrace of urbanity and experimentation, jazz captured the pulse and rich mixture of cultures and rhythms that brought a new beat to contemporary life.
Significant influences from Europe included avant-garde artistic movements; the Paris 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts décoratifs et industriels modernes; recent immigrant designers, primarily from Austria and Germany; traveling exhibitions featuring the latest designs, many available for sale; and fashion and jewelry acquired overseas. At home, new modes of transportation and the development of industrial design with its impact on consumer products and the interior profoundly shaped American taste. Equally exciting and important as these influences were the rapid growth of American cities and architecture—most notably the soaring American skyscraper—which awed Americans and Europeans alike and inspired unprecedented dynamic forms in design.
New freedoms abounded. Women gained the right to vote in 1920 and enjoyed more independence, bending traditional social rules of decorum and engaging in new professions such as interior design. This freer spirit also appeared in art and design through vibrant colors, bold geometric forms, and the use of new materials and experimental production methods. These changes became increasingly visible as the decade progressed and are explored in the exhibition’s six thematic sections: The Persistence of Traditional "Good Taste," A New Look for Familiar Forms, Bending the Rules, A Smaller World, Abstraction and Reinvention, and Toward a Machine Age.

  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 4 images of this object.
  • Object ID #18728717
  • molded, enameled, gilded and glazed hard paste porcelain.
  • Gift of the Estate of Edgar Sachs, from the Collection of Hilda G. and Edgar....
  • 2008-42-6
  • Object ID #18464763
  • molded and carved glass, white metal; leather, silk, brass (case).
  • Gift of Jacques Jugeat.
  • 1968-163-1-a,b
  • Object ID #18497435
  • steel, copper, bronze, nickle, glass.
  • Gift of Mrs. Paul Dahlstrom.
  • 1978-7-4
  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 11 images of this object.
  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 3 images of this object.
  • Object ID #18706745
  • bent chromium-plated tubular steel, fiber, rubber.
  • Museum purchase through gift of Esme Usdan and from General Acquisitions....
  • 2006-17-1
  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 4 images of this object.
  • Object ID #68268575
  • molded and glazed porcelain with enameled rim.
  • Gift in memory of Ladislav and Iska Sutnar.
  • 2014-33-15-a,b
  • Object ID #18640379
  • brush and gouache, graphite on paper, lined.
  • Gift of Donald Cameron.
  • 1992-51-55
  • Object ID #18790781
  • molded phenolic plastic (catalin), metal, fabric.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2011-44-1
  • Object ID #991173963
  • printed paperboard binding, gilt-lettered cloth spine.
  • Smithsonian Libraries, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Library, TX951.C76 1930.
  • 43.2016.17
  • Object ID #18486065
  • white, blue, and orange pastel on black wove paper.
  • Gift of Donald Deskey.
  • 1975-11-20
  • Object ID #404536559
  • leather-covered metal, chrome-plated and enameled metal, glass (camera);....
  • 2015-41-2-a,b
  • Object ID #18488141
  • cast and wrought bronze.
  • Gift of Stanley Siegel, from the Stanley Siegel Collection.
  • 1975-32-3
  • Object ID #907131613
  • silver with gilding and ivory.
  • Lent by Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, The Gorham Collection.....
  • 51.2016.1a/d
  • Object ID #907214249
  • platinum, diamonds, sapphires.
  • Lent by Tiffany and Company, Archives, A2004.17.
  • 62.2016.3
  • Object ID #907214249
  • platinum, diamonds, sapphires.
  • Lent by Tiffany and Company, Archives, A2004.17.
  • 62.2016.3
  • Object ID #907214317
  • iron.
  • Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift,....
  • 66.2016.8
  • Object ID #907131613
  • silver with gilding and ivory.
  • Lent by Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, The Gorham Collection.....
  • 51.2016.1a/d
  • Object ID #907216375
  • blue silk chiffon with applied blue ombré silk fringe.
  • Lent by Kent State University Museum, The Helen O. Borowitz Collection, KSUM....
  • 70.2016.2
  • Object ID #907216375
  • blue silk chiffon with applied blue ombré silk fringe.
  • Lent by Kent State University Museum, The Helen O. Borowitz Collection, KSUM....
  • 70.2016.2
  • Object ID #18400637
  • silk warp and weft, gold thread is s-wrapped foil, over 2-ply z-twisted cotton.
  • Gift of Jean Mailey.
  • 1954-170-7
  • This object is part of the Textiles collection.
  • There are 3 images of this object.
  • Object ID #18699811
  • lithograph on tan paper, lined with linen.
  • Museum purchase from Drawings and Prints Council Fund.
  • 2004-8-1
  • Object ID #907130281
  • oxidized repoussé copper, colored lacquer.
  • Stephen E. Kelly/Kelly Gallery, New York.
  • 38.2016.4