Audio Art: Curator John Stuart Gordon on Modern American Decorative Arts

Americans living in the first decades of the twentieth century felt they inhabited a modern age – a spirit of excitement and experimentation transforming the world around them. Our recently-published book, A Modern World draws upon the renowned collection of American decorative arts at the Yale University Art Gallery to explore the appearance and dissemination of modern design in the United States. This catalogue organizes hundreds of examples of silver, glass, industrial design, furniture, jewelry, and printed textiles into thematic groups that chart the aesthetic and social trends that defined American design from the Jazz Age to the Space Age.

Listen below to hear John Stuart Gordon, the Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Assistant Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Yale University Art Gallery and author of the book, talk about two particularly striking objects featured in the book, and why they were particularly, strikingly, futuristically modern at the time they were designed.

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