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Collection of black and white photographs show home interiors.

"Studies in Contrast: The New and the Old" in House and Garden, July 1929.



Hello, my name is Darius Danyluk and I am a Gallery Attendant at the museum. I will be reading The Old and The New section for Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom by Joseph Urban.

In the 1920s, many American lifestyle magazines touted the Colonial Revival style, which reinvented a narrow and idealized view of early American life through decor. This historicizing mode was regarded as the conventional expression of good taste and traditional values.

Alternatively, a select group of designers worked collectively to adapt European modern ideas for American tastes. These designers, including Joseph Urban, strove to forge a uniquely American aesthetic befitting the modern age. "We live entirely different[ly] nowadays than we used to," Urban once said, "and our living conditions should be altered to meet this change."

Youthful and sophisticated, modern designs were most enthusiastically embraced by and marketed to the era’s younger generation. Initially, the new mode infiltrated personal appearance by way of higher dress hems, cropped hair, cloche hats, and smart accessories. Then it seeped into home interiors with the addition of small decorative objects or Art Deco-inspired upholstery fabrics. Some committed to the aesthetic in the total decoration of smaller, private spaces such as powder rooms, sitting rooms, and bedrooms.

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