New and Recently Published
MFA Collection Books

America Goes Modern
The Rise of the Industrial Designer

By Nonie Gadsden with Kate Lanford Joy
Format Regular Price Member Price
Product $45.00

ISBN: 978-0-87846-885-0; 192 pages; 7 x 10.5 in.; 110 color illustrations

During the 1920s and 1930s, the speed of modern life in the United States, accelerated by the invention of cars, airplanes, electric lighting, telephones, and mass-media marketing, changed how people lived their lives and the objects they chose to live with. Through the power of design—form, color, ornament, and materials—the earliest industrial designers created a modern aesthetic that came to represent American hopes, dreams, and fantasies.

America Goes Modern explores these designers’ achievements through close examination of selected masterworks. Each of these exceptional objects offers a window into the social, cultural, technological, and economic world in which they were made and used. The book features sleek furniture, colorful ceramics, streamlined metalwares, and innovative plastics, from the leading designers of the era, including Paul Frankl, Donald Deskey, and Belle Kogan.

About the Author

Nonie Gadsden is Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Kate Lanford Joy is an independent scholar and researcher.