Vanity & Vice: American Art Deco Exhibition Opening At Kirkland Museum Of Fine & Decorative Art On May 22nd

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art’s new exhibition, Vanity & Vice: American Art Deco, is opening on May 22nd, 2024 and running through January 12th, 2025. It will explore the dynamic designs that emerged during the rebellious years of 1920–1933 and will allow visitors to transport themselves to a different era. Learn more about life during Prohibition, what it was like to be a woman in the 1920’s and gain a better understanding of the American-made objects that came out of the Art Deco period. Plus, of the over 200 objects included in this exhibition, about 70% have never been displayed at Kirkland Museum. You’ll be able to view quintessentially Art Deco perfume atomizers, puff boxes, lamps, chandeliers, vanity sets, cocktail shakers and cordials, wine and champagne glasses, decanters, ashtrays, smoking stands and more!

Vanity & Vice: American Art Deco invites visitors into two distinct spaces occupied by a progressive Prohibition-era woman named Mabel: her modern boudoir and a swanky speakeasy. As you walk through the exhibition, you’ll get a glimpse of Mabel’s bedroom (which dress should she wear out on the town?) and then sit with her at the bar of a nearby speakeasy! Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in these settings (aka it’ll be Instagram worthy!) and imagine what life was like over 100 years ago. 

During this era, American women were enjoying more independence, both inside and outside the home. They were cutting their hair into a chic bob, wearing rouge on lips and cheeks, hosting cocktail parties, and even publicly consuming alcohol and tobacco (gasp!) American designers and manufacturers responded to these societal changes by designing fashionable accessories to go with the time, many of which can be seen at the Vanity & Vice: American Art Deco exhibition. 

There will be an entertaining and educational audio tour through the exhibition, where guests can get to know our featured woman, on Bloomberg Connects, the free arts & culture app.

For more information about Curator Talks and other Museum events, click HERE.  Also, starting in February 2024 and continuing every third Friday of the month through December 2024, the Museum’s doors will remain open until 7pm as part of Art After Hours


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