top of page
Index

The Flapper 

ADSVA's Membership Newsletter

  • Letter from the President

  • News

  • New Members

  • Preservation News

  • Feature Article

  • Things To Do About Town

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

 

As the Art Deco Society of Virginia turns twelve years old, I write this message from my hotel room with a stunning view of the Empire State Building in front of me, an icon of the Art Deco era and recognized around the world. While not having anything close to such grandeur in Virginia, we nonetheless have plenty of Art Deco architecture to appreciate and enjoy and which should be preserved for future generations. This year the ADSVA entered the preservation arena by actively supporting the preservation and reuse of the 1932 Richmond Community Hospital Building, a fight that continues today. It’s an area that the ADSVA has long wanted to be part of our mission and we hope to stay active in this area going forward. We will continue to support the community’s preservation effort until Virginia Union University officially states its intention to preserve and reuse the building and to shine a spotlight on its rich history as a beacon to the community it served when no one else would. We are also beginning to engage in dialogue with other preservation groups in the state, such as Historic Richmond and Preservation Virginia, to build a team that will help keep watch over our state’s Art Deco heritage.

unnamed.jpg
Letter from the President

This past year has also been very lively as we’ve organized and held several successful social events and continue to build our membership. Key to that was adding two new members, Carmela Brenzie and Kelly Hancock, to our board and we look forward to their added creativity and energy in planning our social and educational programming throughout the next year. One of those, a trip to Petersburg, Viginia to tour Amaza Lee Meredith’s Azurest South residence later this month has already sold out. The public interest in our programming is inspiring and we will continue to offer creative and interesting programs going forward.

 

Lastly, we continue to be an active member of the global effort to raise awareness of the Art Deco period with our association and participation with the International Coalition of Art Deco Societies (ICADS) with our secretary and board member, Rita Shiang, having won re-election as ICADS treasurer for another two-year term. Our aim is for the ADSVA to be a recognized society by continuing to work with ICADS and its member societies worldwide and build working relationships.

 

I am and excited for this coming year of ADSVA programming and I hope to see many of you at our events.

Andy Nishida

ADSVA President

News

NEWS

COCKTAILS IN BLUE

It was nice mingling with all the music lovers at Parterre before we all heading to the beautiful Carpenter Theatre to hear George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The Richmond Symphony had an evening of Gershwin planned and included the music from An American in Paris. Jazz pianist, Russell Wilson, expertly played the headlining piece. (Photos credits: Andy Nishida and  Robert Pfeifer).

unnamed (4).jpg

 

SEERSUCKER RIDE

Even though rain threatened the forecast leading up to the ride, that May Sunday was cool and cloudy, a perfect day for riding. We were an eclectic bunch with vintage bikes, modern bikes, e-bikes, a three-wheeler, a tandem, and even a parrot (!) but always with great tunes! What we all had in common was that we all had fun!

New Members

NEW MEMBERS

Thanks to Christina Henderson for joining the Society this past month. Hopefully, we will see her and all our other members at our upcoming events!

PRESERVATION NEWS

RICHMOND COMMUNITY HOSPITAL (1932)

 

The ADSVA continues to support the grass roots community effort to save the Richmond Community Hospital building at 1209 Overbook Road in Richmond. The important work at hand is to continue to keep up public pressure on the university. Please join this effort to preserve this important piece of Richmond’s Black and Art Deco history and attend their community rallies every first Sunday at the building location. If you have not done so already (and even if you have), please write letters calling for the preservation of the building. 

unnamed (5).jpg

You can send your letters/emails to:

Published letters at the Richmond Times Dispatch and Style Weekly

Preser

FEATURE ARTICLE

 

BATHING BEAUTY: THE 1920s SWIMWEAR REVOLUTION

By: NICHOL GABOR

There’s no question that the 1920s ushered in a fashion revolution. Skirts got shorter, waists got longer, and sportswear rose to prominence. Of all the changes to clothing, none was more drastic than the bathing suit. The rising middle class had an increase in leisure time and could afford to spend time at resorts and waterside getaways. This, coupled with the importance of the tanned, athletic body meant that swimwear was of the utmost importance to the modern wardrobe.

Feature Article
unnamed (6).jpg

The most influential change for swimwear in the 20th century came from the introduction of the knitted bathing costume which replaced the woven cotton bathing dress. Men had been wearing knitted bathing suits in the previous century, but this comfortable garment had been denied to the average woman. Like with everyday fashion in the 1920s, menswear was influencing women’s swimwear and the new bathing suit for women greatly resembled a man’s bathing ensemble. In fact, at a glance, there was very little difference between a man and women’s bathing suit in the 1920s. They were both strapless knit garments which fit tightly to the wearer’s body. A women’s suit might have a short skirt, belt, or other feminine touches but had essentially the same structure as their male counterpart.

unnamed (7).jpg

The swimwear brand, Jantzen, was an early manufacturer of knit swimwear. Established in 1916, they manufactured sweaters, hosiery, and other knitted goods but became known for their swimwear after they began manufacturing “bathing suits” for rowing teams. In 1923, they branded their suits with an image of a diving woman clad in a red swimsuit, known as the “Jantzen Diving Girl”. This swimwear was quickly adopted by beach and pool goers in the 1920s as it provided greater comfort, allowed for more movement, and dried quicker than its cumbersome 19th century predecessor.

The slim, knit bathing costume allowed women to function with greater ease at the beach or in the water as the textile was breathable and removed the excess fabric that accompanied the 19th-century bathing costume.

unnamed (1).png

Additionally, the figure-hugging knitwear revealed more of the female body than the suit's predecessor, further demonstrating the ways women were liberating themselves in the 1920s. This shift that clearly demonstrates the change in the way women shopped and dressed. Women in the 1920s now sought out clothing that provided comfort and athleticism more than modesty.

Nichol Gabor is the Nathalie L. Klaus Curator of Costume and Textiles at the Valentine Museum and a board member of the Art Deco Society of Virginia.

 

Photo Credit (Top to Bottom)

Bathing Costumes. July 1895. The Tailor’s Review. 

Group in Bathing Suits By Water. Circa 1925. Private Collection 

Jantzen Swimwear Advertisement. 1925. 

THINGS TO DO ABOUT TOWN

 

Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Paris

Hillwood Estates Museum & Gardens

4155 Linnean Avenue NW

Washington DC, 20008

February 17, 2024 – June 16, 2024

 

Hillwood founder Marjorie Merriweather Post was a dedicated

Francophile, passionate about French culture, design, and artistry. A regular in Paris, she patronized iconic hotels; attended the theater, opera, and social events; and frequented art galleries, antique shops, haute couturiers, and luxury department stores. As with all aspects of her life, Post’s time in Paris was characterized by her signature style and grace. Experience the City of Light through Post’s eyes.

 

 

 

Post traveled to Europe on luxury liners and stayed in lavish accommodations including the Ritz Hotel, Hotel Claridge, and Hotel Raphael. She became a very important client of designer Louis Vuitton, ordering almost forty travelling trunks for all aspects of her wardrobe. Once in Paris, Post would spend days visiting her favorite retailers, including Callot Soeurs, House of Paquin, Gustave Beer, Thurn, and Madeleine et Madeleine for fashion; Van Cleef & Arpels and Joel Helft for jewelry; Galerie d’Art Ancien and A La Vieille Russie for antiques and art; and Saint Gobain and Keller for modern luxuries. Marjorie Post’s Paris will highlight these purchases, presenting a treasure trove of French artistry and creativity through fashion, jewelry, luggage, portraiture, decorative arts, and more.

 

Though she spent time in Paris in her youth, Post initiated her true appreciation of French fine and decorative arts in the early 1920s when designing her triplex apartment in New York City. When collecting, she valued items that were beautiful and finely crafted. Today, this aspect of Hillwood’s holdings features a wide variety of objects, nearly sixty of which will be on view in the exhibition.

 

In 1925 the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes opened in Paris. The exposition brought the new approach to design that we now call Art Deco to the attention of a worldwide audience and led to its international dispersal. Join the Art Deco Society of Washington as they look back at the architecture and design showcased at this influential event. In 2025, the 17th World Congress on Art Deco will be held in Paris.


Presenter Kathleen Murphy Skolnik teaches art and architectural history at Roosevelt University in Chicago.

unnamed (8).jpg
unnamed (2).png

Marjorie Post first visited Paris, France in 1900 as a young woman, attending the Exposition Universelle, or world’s fair, with her parents. With the international inventions and pavilions dedicated to textiles and fashion, the trip exposed Post to a wide array of collector’s items that would fascinate her for the rest of her life. She next visited France during the summer of 1904 with her father, C.W. Post, which is well documented in her scrapbooks. According to Post, “Paris is very gay and crowded.”

Things To Do About Town

In 1943, the U.S. General Services Administration entrusted to the Baltimore Museum of Art’s care nearly 1,000 prints made by artists employed by the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project (WPA/FAP), which, from 1935 to 1942, offered employment to millions of workers affected by the Great Depression, including artists.This exhibition features a selection of approximately 50 prints created by women printmakers who gave visual form to the fraught state of American society during the lead up to World War II. At a time when the kinds of work available to women changed, these artists—workers themselves—focused their print production on the human faces of labor and poverty in alignment with swelling communist and socialist movements in the U.S. By attending to labor inside and outside the home, these women used their imagery to call out racial, gendered, and class-based inequities exacerbated by the temporary collapse of a capitalist economy.Reexamining the contributions of WPA women artists offers fresh insight into both their moment and the ways these challenges still manifest today. An adjacent gallery will highlight how WPA artists used the printing press to oppose fascism, creating works about the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) even while U.S. citizens were banned from aiding Spain.

Art/Work: Women Printmakers of the WPA

Baltimore Museum of Art

10 Art Museum Drive

Baltimore, MD 21218

November 5, 2023 – June 30, 2024

Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 5 pm, until 9:00 pm on Thursdays

Admission: Free

unnamed (9).jpg

Sonia Delaunay (1885–1979) was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Her remarkably diverse and interconnected body of work focused on the primacy of color and a synthesis of the arts. Painter, artisan, and designer, she embraced modernity and harnessed the creative power of collaboration in the realms of fashion, textiles, interiors, books, mosaics, and tapestries. Living Art comprises almost 200 objects secured from major international lenders, reflecting Delaunay’s kaleidoscopic output through all periods of her career from the early Parisian avant-garde of the 1910s to the spirited 1970s. Exploring the materiality, making, and marketing of her work, the exhibition traces a lifetime of creative expression and presents an innovator who transcended conventional artistic boundaries and devotedly lived her art.

Bard Graduate Center Gallery

18 West 86th St.

New York, NY 10024

February 23 – July 7, 2024

Closed Mondays

General Admission $15

unnamed (10).jpg
unnamed (11).jpg

The term “Art Deco” did not exist until the 1960s. Prior to that, the geometric, bold, machine-focused style now collectively packaged within that genre was known by many names, representing a variety of regional versions of Modernism.

Drawing from the recent exhibition “Art Deco: Commercializing the Avant-Garde,” Angelina Lippert, chief curator at Poster House in New York City, offers a lively chronicle of the rise and fall of what would come to be known as Art Deco. Her overview begins at the 1925 Paris Exhibition, where avant-garde Modernist styles became a global influence, and concludes as Deco graphics became more nationalistic in the lead-up to World War II. Register for this program here.

Virtual Programs through the Smithsonian Associates Art Deco:

Commercializing the Avant-Garde

Thursday Thursday, July 11, 2024

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 pm

Smithsonian Associates Members $25

Nonmembers $30

Duke Ellington, the grandson of slaves who was christened Edward Kennedy Ellington, was a man whose story is as layered and nuanced as his name suggests and whose music transcended category. Louis Daniel Armstrong was born in a New Orleans slum so tough it was called “The Battlefield” and, at age seven, got his first musical instrument, a ten-cent tin horn that drew buyers to his rag-peddling wagon and set him on the road to elevating jazz into a pulsating force for spontaneity and freedom. William James Basie, too, grew up in a world unfamiliar to white fans—the son of a coachman and laundress who dreamed of escaping every time the traveling carnival swept into town, and who finally engineered his getaway with help from Fats Waller.

The Jazzmen

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

7:00 pm- 8:15 pm

Smithsonian Associates Members $25/Nonmembers $30

Weekend in Cincinnati

Art Deco Society of Washington

August 31, 2024 – September 1, 2024

The ADSW is exploring the potential for an Art Deco weekend in Cincinnati centered around 1940s day at Union Terminal. In addition to the 1940s day activities described above, they are looking into:

 

  • Dinner Sunday night aboard 1940s/1950s dining cars on The Cincinnati Dinner Train.

  • The Dinner train will travel to the riverfront where diners can watch the largest fireworks display in the Midwest

  • Lodging at the spectacular Netherland Plaza Hotel

  • Behind the scenes tours of Cincinnati Union Terminal to view the Edgard Sforzina-designed executive offices

  • PowerPoint presentation "The French Connection: Edgard Sforzina and the Birth of American Art Deco" by Jim Linz 

  • A visit to the American Sign Museum.

  • A walking tour of Art Deco buildings in downtown Cincinnati

  • Other options include the Cincinnati Museum of Art and Rookwood Pottery

 

This would be a loosely organized event where participants make their own reservations and travel arrangements under "blocks" of reservations secured by the ADSW.

 

For those traveling to Cincinnati by car, guidance will be provided on recommended sites to see in Columbus, Springfield, and Dayton along the way.

 

If you are interested in participating in the weekend activities contact Jim Linz.

 

A block of reservations for the Dinner Train being held for ADSW will go on sale in mid-July.

unnamed (12).jpg

Larry Tye, author of The Jazzmen: How Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie Transformed America, traces the story of how these revolutionary musicians orchestrated the chords that throbbed at the soul of 20th-century America. What is less known about these groundbreakers is that they were bound not just by their music or even the discrimination that they, like nearly all Black performers of their day, routinely encountered. Each defied and ultimately overcame racial boundaries by opening America’s eyes and souls to the magnificence of their music. In the process, says Tye, they wrote the soundtrack for the civil rights movement. Register for this program here.

unnamed (14).jpg

In the early 20th century, skyscrapers transformed New York City and became symbols of American innovation and modernity. Beyond physically altering the urban landscape, these iconic structures changed perceptions of space, isolation, and control. This exhibition explores the complex impact of skyscrapers on the human experience through prints, photographs, and design objects—a selection of which the Museum recently acquired—by artists including Walker Evans, Paul T. Frankl, and Louis Lozowick.

Beyond Heights: Skyscrapers and the Human Experience

Milwaukee Art Museum

700 N. Art Museum Dr.

Milwaukee, WI 53202

December 8, 2023 – September 8, 2024

Exhibit Included in Museum Admission $22.00

Claire / McCardell Exhibit

Maryland Center for History and Culture

610 Park Ave.

Baltimore, MD 21201

Through November 2024

Wednesday – Sunday 10:00 am – 5 pm

$12

unnamed (15).jpg
unnamed (16).jpg

Claire McCardell redefined women’s fashion in America during the 1930s –1950s and she continues to influence American sportswear today. By designing for modern American women like herself, McCardell became synonymous with the American fashion rebellion.

 

Beneath her dynamic, confident, and strong-willed business persona, Claire was a shy introvert in conflict with this perceived identity. Through family letters, personal interviews, and archival documents, juxtaposed with examples of McCardell’s designs spanning her career, this exhibition gives a more intimate look at the woman behind the iconic label.

 

This exhibition is curated by Tory Burch Claire McCardell Fashion Fellow Robyn Levy. Support for this Fellowship is generously provided by the Tory Burch Foundation.

 

Main image: Rayon faille trapeze-style Monastic dress, made by Claire McCardell Clothes by Townley, 1950s. Maryland Center for History and Culture, Gift of Center Stage, 1998.10

 

Inset image: Portrait of Claire McCardell holding notepad and pencil, photograph by Wynn Richards (1888-1960), c.1945. Maryland Center for History and Culture, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Claire McCardell Photograph Collection, PP238.04.021

unnamed (17).jpg

Star Power: Photographs from Hollywood’s Golden Age by George Hurrell

National Portrait Gallery

8th and G Streets NW

Washington DC, 20001

March 1, 2024 – January 5, 2025

Admission: Free

unnamed (18).jpg

Widely regarded as the preeminent Hollywood portrait photographer of the 1930s and 1940s, George Hurrell (1904–1992) created definitive, timeless images of many of the most glamorous figures of filmdom’s golden era. Hurrell began his Hollywood career in 1930 as a photographer for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio (founded in 1924) that claimed to have “more stars than there are in heaven.” With a keen eye for lighting effects and artful posing, he developed a style of presentation that magnified the stars and influenced popular standards of glamour. Advancing rapidly to become MGM’s in-house portraitist, he produced memorable images of film royalty, from Greta and Clark Gable to Spencer Tracy and Joan Crawford. He established his own studio on Sunset Boulevard in 1933, where he continued to photograph actors for MGM as well as those under contract with other major studios. After closing his studio in 1938, Hurrell concluded the decade as the head of photography for Warner Bros.



Selected from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection by senior curator of photographs Ann Shumard, this exhibition features golden-era portraits that reveal Hurrell’s skill in shaping the images of Hollywood’s brightest stars.

The Great Gatsby

Broadway Theatre

1681 Broadway

New York, NY 10019

Opened April 25, 2024

The Roaring 20s have returned to Broadway! Transport yourself to the opulent world of the 1920s as one of the greatest American novels hits the greatest American stage. Starring Jeremy Jordan (Newsies) as the eccentric and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and Eva Noblezada (Hadestown) as the enigmatic Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby arrives on Broadway after a record-shattering, sold-out run at Paper Mill Playhouse. Directed by Marc Bruni (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), this story of extravagance and longing features choreography by Dominique Kelley (So You Think You Can Dance), a book by Kait Kerrigan (The Mad Ones) and a jazz- and pop-influenced original score by Jason Howland (Little Women) and Nathan Tysen (Paradise Square). Don’t miss the party — get tickets today to the musical that The New York Times calls “lush, bewitching, and dazzling!”

unnamed (19).jpg

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwestern Pennsylvania presents both realized and unrealized projects Frank Lloyd Wright designed for the region from the 1930s through the 1950s. The exhibition examines how his vision of the future might have impacted urban, suburban, and rural landscapes.

 

Realistic animated films, created by Skyline Ink Animators + Illustrators, provide, for the first time, a virtual exploration of five unrealized Wright projects for Southwestern Pennsylvania. These include a monumental reimagining of the Point (1947), a self-service garage for Kaufmann’s Department Store (1949), the Point View Residences designed for the Edgar J. Kaufmann Charitable Trust (1952), the Rhododendron Chapel (1952), and a gate lodge for the Fallingwater grounds (1941). Using three-dimensional rendering technology to choreograph camera paths and to shape lighting to produce the same type of visual effects used in the film industry, Skyline Ink’s resulting animations will be presented throughout the exhibition to provide a multimedia experience. A viewing theater will envelop visitors to show an expanded film of the three unrealized Pittsburgh designs. To further engage the senses, the film will feature an accompanying musical score by Daniel May with Marty Ashby and produced by MCG Jazz. Viewers will take a journey into Wright’s creative mind, exploring architecture from an artistic perspective, with emphasis on his intended materials, textures, light and shadow.

Brilliant Exiles: American Women in Paris, 1900 – 1939

National Portrait Gallery

8th and G Streets NW

Washington DC, 20001

April 26, 2024 – February 23, 2025

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwestern Pennsylvania

National Building Museum

401 F Street NW

Washington DC 20001

April 13, 2024 – March 17, 2025

$10 Admission

unnamed (20).jpg

During the early twentieth century, Paris was the destination of choice for talented and independent American women who were determined to move beyond the limitations that restricted them at home. As foreigners in a cosmopolitan city, they escaped the societal expectations and constraints of both the United States and France. Many used their newfound liberty as an opportunity for self-reinvention and discovery.

 

In Paris, American women explored a variety of options for making their mark on contemporary culture. They carried out transformative work in wide-ranging fields including art, literature, dance, publishing, music, and fashion. An impressive number not only participated in important modernist initiatives but led them.

 

By crossing the Atlantic to pursue their personal and professional aspirations, these “brilliant exiles” took a leap into the future. They experienced liberties, opportunities, and tolerances that were yet to be achieved in the United States. How much has changed since then? Have the freedoms and possibilities they sought become realities?

unnamed (21).jpg

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwestern Pennsylvania

National Building Museum

401 F Street NW

Washington DC 20001

April 13, 2024 – March 17, 2025

$10 Admission

bottom of page