Winterthur Conference Skips Forward A Century

Berlin Hotel, 1954

Perhaps Henry Francis Du Pont would find it odd, but a new program at his Delaware home turned museum extraordinaire is focusing on the era when he collected rather that the era of his collections.

Chic it Up! Winterthur Design Conference in November will focus on the 1950’s Theater of Tradition and Technology. A brochure with a 50s theme seems almost as if it could be a promotion for the hit tv show Mad Men, set in the early 1960s.  The cover shows a graphic of an automobile from an advertisement and a man in a pin-striped suite, presumably a designer, standing next to a range holding a cigarette.

The conference promises to cover a range of topics including post-war resort life, modernism and traditionalism in jewelry design, some of the major collections of the time and magazine portrayals of Hollywood homes.

Speakers at the event include Thomas Jayne, Interior Decorator, Jayne Design Group, New York City, Donald Albrecht, Independent Curator and Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of the City of New York and Sam Watters, Professor, University of Southern California, Independent Consultant and Architectural Historian.

More information is available here:

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

Leave a Reply