Thursday, December 14th, 2017

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Roaring Twenties come to life at CMA’s ‘Jazz Age’ exhibit

 

 

(A huge chandelier from the 1925 World’s Fair and a 1925 Rolls Royce are among the special treasures that visitors to the Cleveland Museum of Art will find as part of its “The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s” exhibit. The exhibit remains on view through January 14. (Photographs courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art)

 

 

By BARRY GOODRICH

 

During the 1920s and early 1930s, the United States became the world’s top marketplace for innovative architecture, stylish interior decoration, distinctive decorative art, fashion, music and cinema.

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s new exhibit The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s brings the era to life with collections of jewelry, fashion, motorcars, paintings and decorative arts. Co-organized by the museum and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, it is the first major museum exhibition to center on American art and design during the 1920s and early 1930s.

With more than 300 items featuring the events and personalities that highlighted the era on view in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Hall, the exhibition is both a visual feast and an educational opportunity.

“It’s a blockbuster show,” said William Griswold, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. “It explains the creative impulses that shaped American taste in that dynamic era.”

Organized in six sections, The Jazz Age reveals a decade of contrasts with new ideas challenging more traditional styles in a transitional era known for its advancements in art, fashion and technology.

The sections include A New Look for Familiar Forms, featuring updated interpretations of older styles of decoration; A Smaller World, which explains transatlantic connections that helped blend influences and cultures; The Persistence of Traditional “Good Taste,” with works illustrating how Americans equated good taste and social standing with older European styles of design; Bending the Rules, showcasing new ideals for the young modern woman with more revealing fashions, colorful jewelry and accessories; Abstraction and Reinvention, exploring the shapes and minimalistic decoration and geometric shapes which defined modernism and Toward a Machine Age, highlighting the technological and stylistic innovations o the 1920s.

Some of the highlights from the exhibit include a huge chandelier from the 1925 World’s Fair, 1925 Rolls Royce and 1937 Cord automobiles, diamond-laden jewelry and flapper fashions.

The Jazz Age exhibit runs through Jan. 14 and is a popular destination for individuals of all ages, families and high school and college groups.

Tickets to The Jazz Age are $15 for adults, $13 for senior citizens and college students and $7 for children ages 6-17 and member guests. Admission is free for CMA members and children 5 and younger. All tickets include an audio tour that includes extended interpretations of 21 of the exhibit’s artworks.

An exhibition catalogue and a Jazz Age CD featuring musical artists of the era are available in the CMA Store or online at cmastore.org. For more information on the exhibit, visit clevelandart.org.

 

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