Joseph Urban: Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom

Joseph Urban: Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom

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by Amy M. Dehan (Author), Christopher Long  (Contributor), Elizabeth McGoey (Contributor)

A fascinating, profusely illustrated, study of the impact of Austrian-born architect and designer Joseph Urban (1872–1933), on the development and acceptance of American Modernism through the story of one of his last commissions.

Designed in 1929 and completed in 1930, this rare, bespoke bedroom, created for the seventeen-year-old Elaine Wormser, embodies the skillful blend of Viennese artistic influences, sleek modern finishes, daring color and pattern that marked all of the artist’s greatest achievements. The interior, whose elements are held by the Cincinnati Art Museum, has never been fully researched, published or displayed before now. Five essays, accompanied by nearly 90 full-color illustrations, unlock the narratives and significance of this important historic interior.

Joseph Urban arrived in Boston in 1911; he lived and worked in the United States for the rest of his life. Over the next twenty-two years, he would become one of the nation’s most important and celebrated designers, at the forefront of American modernism, doing as much as anyone to shape its distinctive face. His iconic designs include the Tulip Room, Central Park Casino, New York, 1929; Park Avenue Restaurant, 128 East 58th Street, New York, 1931; and the bedroom for Nedenia Hutton, daughter of E. F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post , Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach, Florida, 1926. When Urban arrived in the United States, the new architecture and design were just beginning to make their appearance; by the time he died in 1933, they were already starting to assert their dominance