Upcoming Programs & Events
Past Programs & EventsView all
Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs 1851-1939
Thursday, September 19
Museum Members $5; Public $15. Buy tickets
To receive the member discount, members must log in after clicking through to the ticket purchase screen. Discounts will be applied during check-out. For information about Driehaus Museum memberships, please see the Join section on the website or call 312 482 8933, ext. 39.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, world’s fairs were the most important vehicles for debuting advancements in the modern world. Universal in scope, they displayed decorative arts alongside paintings, sculpture, and agricultural products. Above all, they democratized design unlike any previous or concurrent forum.
In 2012, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City co-organized a groundbreaking exhibition focused solely on the decorative arts displayed at the world’s fairs between London’s Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in 1851 and the New York World’s Fair in 1939. Impermanent as the exhibitions themselves were, decorative arts are sometimes the only surviving elements of world’s fairs. Jason Busch, Chief Curator and the Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Carnegie Museum, will elaborate on how objects at the fairs represented inventive and revived fabrication techniques, cross-cultural influences, nationalistic inspiration, and folkloric traditions. These singular objects represented the pinnacle of scientific and artistic achievements of their time and demonstrated how innovative design could positively affect modern living.
This lecture is part of the Driehaus Museum’s 2013 Samuel M. Nickerson Lecture Series, a program which serves to situate the Nickerson Mansion within the context of social artistic developments of the period and against the wider background of America’s Gilded Age.
Doors open at 5 p.m. for any attendees who would like to explore the Museum and its collections. The lecture begins at 6 p.m. As space is limited, advance reservations are highly recommended.
About the Speaker
Jason T. Busch is Chief Curator and the Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. He recently co-organized the catalogue exhibition Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at World’s Fairs, 1851-1939, which was shown in 2012 at Carnegie Museum of Art and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and in 2013 at the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Mint Museum in Charlotte.
Photo: Zaire centerpiece bowl. Raymond Ruys, designer; Delheid Frères, manufacturer, 1930. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.
Mark Twain Lecture
Thursday, October 6
This lecture by Jennifer A. Greenhill, PhD., Associate Professor of Art History, American Art and Visual Culture, University of Southern California explore the creative possibilities offered by the comic press during the Gilded Age through the work of Mark Twain. Read more
Thursday, October 13
This second Nickerson Lecture by Moira Gallagher, Research Assistant in the American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, brings to light the significant, yet little known cabinet making and decorating enterprise of George A. Schastey. Read more
40 East Erie Street
Chicago, Illinois Get directions