Presented by Catherine Futter, interim director of curatorial affairs and senior curator, decorative arts, Brooklyn Museum  

American Art Deco: Designing for the People, 1918–1939 investigates a dynamic period in American history and culture when the country and its citizens went through political, economic, racial, and artistic transformation and revolution. Join exhibition curator Catherine Futter to learn more about the era through decorative arts, fine arts, architecture, and design. During this one-hour illustrated lecture, Futter will explore key themes of the exhibition, such as industrial and technological progress in the period following World War I, as well as relative social progress for women and people of color; the rise of the middle class and consumer culture; and the migration of styles, ideas, and designers from Europe to the US.  

Catherine Futter is the interim director of curatorial affairs and the senior curator, decorative arts at the Brooklyn Museum. Previously, she was at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City for almost eighteen years. While there, she held the positions of director, curatorial affairs, and the Helen Jane and R. Hugh “Pat” Uhlmann Curator of Architecture, Design and Decorative Arts. Catherine has a bachelor’s degree in medieval and Renaissance studies from Duke University and earned her doctorate from Yale University, where her focus was American decorative arts. 

Catherine has curated a number of permanent-collection installations of European and American art as well as numerous exhibitions, including the international loan exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851–1939, which was accompanied by an award-winning catalogue. A generalist in the history of design and decorative arts, Catherine’s scholarly focus is on transcultural connections and nineteenth-century decorative arts. She is now working on reexamining decorative arts to reveal inequities in their creation and ownership.

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