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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Abstraction and Reinvention

The abstract and often fragmented forms that appeared in 1920s design were influenced by fine art movements such as Cubism, but they also emanated from the profound impact of abstraction in architecture particularly the stepped, set-back profile of soaring skyscrapers and in the open-plan arrangements of interior spaces. Designers’ use of bold geometric shapes that became pervasive by the 1930s—from the zigzags of Reuben Haley’s Ruba Rombic glass and Ruth Reeves’s Electric pattern textile to the spheres of a Lobmeyr glass candy dish and a Puiforcat silver tea set—reflects an overall trend of paring down to pure form that had its root in the 1920s.

  • Cocktail Set, ca. 1928
  • silver-plated brass and “vitrolite” glass.
  • Lent by Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, with funds from Demmer Charitable....
  • 45.2016.1a/h
  • Cubic Coffee Service, 1927
  • silver with gilding and ivory.
  • Lent by Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, The Gorham Collection.....
  • 51.2016.1a/d
  • Coffeepot, 1930
  • molded and glazed stoneware.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2018-22-11-a,b
  • Chair, 1928
  • aluminum, brass, leather.
  • Private Collection.
  • 79.2016.1
  • Wastebasket, 1928
  • wood, paint, silver leaf.
  • Gift of Jacqueline Loewe Fowler.
  • 7221.1.2018
  • Model 404 Piano Lamp, 1928
  • metal, chrome-plated metal, bakelite.
  • Museum purchase from the Decorative Arts Association Acquisition and....
  • 1994-71-21
  • Charger, ca. 1923
  • molded and glazed earthenware.
  • Gift of George R. Kravis II.
  • 2015-41-7
This object has not been digitized yet.
  • Necklace, 1930–35
  • diamonds, platinum.
  • Lent by Tiffany and Company, Archives, A2000.20.
  • 62.2016.1
  • Necklace, ca. 1930
  • hammered silver and blood jasper.
  • Lent by Siegelson, New York.
  • 61.2016.12
This object has not been digitized yet.
  • Album
  • black leather binding, design in red and silver tooled on cover, gold silk....
  • 53.2016.5
This object has not been digitized yet.
  • Vase, ca. 1929
  • ceramic.
  • Collection of Mark Bassett and George Cooper.
  • 47.2016.3
  • Cabinet, ca. 1930
  • thuja burls, primavera, and coromandel ebony.
  • Lent by Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase, with funds from Demmer Charitable....
  • 45.2016.2