The Decorative Arts: A Survey of 19th and 20th Century European & American Design

image courtesy Knoll

Taught by Danielle Mastrangelo

Danielle Mastrangelo is currently a Smithsonian Curatorial Fellow at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, as well as an adjunct faculty member and Masters student in the History of Decorative Arts and Design at Parsons, the New School for Design. She holds a degree in interior design from Parsons and has worked for New York-based firm Meyer Davis Studio. She is currently working on her thesis exploring Ralph Lauren's influence on the American domestic interior as well as co-editing her website,

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This course will give you a general overview of significant design movements, styles and developments that took place in Europe and America from 1800 through 2000.

By considering metalwork, ceramics, glass, interiors, graphics, jewelry, and furniture, we will consider ideas of taste, gender, class, and consumption, and how they become manifest in objects for use. Whether you are a designer looking to brush up on design history, a cultural studies student investigating new methodologies, or a person interested in learning about "stuff," this course will give you an in-depth background on how to interpret the styles, patterns, and objects that have entered our museums, department stores, and homes.

During the first week, we'll focus on the years 1800-1900 (Neoclassicism, The 1851 Great Exhibition, Arts & Crafts, and Art Nouveau); the second will look at the period from 1900-1950 (Art Deco, Streamlining, and Modernism); and the third will take on 1950-2000 (Post-war America, American Modernism, The Craft Movement, Pop, and Postmodernism).

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