Greenwich Decorative Arts Society presents its 30th Anniversary Luncheon and Lecture

 

The Greenwich Decorative Arts Society (formerly The Greenwich Antiques Society) will present its 30th anniversary luncheon and lecture, “Money, Beauty, Power: The Transformation of Taste in America’s Gilded Age,” a lecture by Ulysses Grant Deitz, Chief Curator, Curator of Decorative Arts, Newark Museum on Monday, October 5, 2015, 10:30 a.m. at The Greenwich Water Club, Cos Cob.

Chief Curator of the Newark Museum and decorative arts historian, Ulysses Grant Dietz, discusses the evolution of American interiors and collecting practices that characterized the late 19th century.  The idea of the way in which wealthy Americans should live was forever changed by the explosion of wealth in the aftermath of the Civil War. At first, newly-minted American millionaires sought out things that were luxurious, costly and modern. They also insisted on the American-ness of the houses they built and the interiors with which they filled them. By the late 1880s, however, those at the top of the American social pyramid began to see that old foreign things with aristocratic histories were even more desirable than anything modern, no matter how opulent, because they were rarer and had an aura of power about them.  Thus, by 1900, even as the Arts & Crafts movement is getting underway in America, America’s financial elite turned their back on modern and embraced everything old and European.  Not only did this dramatically change the way their houses looked, but it changed the way American museums evolved. Even after World War I ended the party, the idea of what “good taste” was in America had changed for the next century.

Admission to the program is $60. Space is limited. Reservations required for members and guests by September 25.   For reservations and information:[email protected] or 203-322-2967.  The Bruce Museum, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT.

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