20th century architecture and design

What about architecture? F.L. Wright’s Guggenheim and Mies’ Seagram Building each drew on classical precedents to create beauty in the modern city.

Ku Klux Klan robe, c. 1928 (The Amistad Center for Art & Culture at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford)
Artifacts like this are key for reminding us of a history of racism that is all too easy to forget.

Connecticut Klan robe

Peter Behrens, Turbine Factory, detail
A leader in modern technology hired a “self-taught architect” with no engineering skills to design their factory.

Peter Behrens, Turbine Factory

Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye, Poissy, France, 1929 (photo: Renato Saboya, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
This house, which emphasized leisure time and fresh air, was Le Corbusier’s own personal Parthenon.

Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye

Lee Lawrie, Wisdom (center), with Light (right) and Sound (left), 1933, painted and gilded limestone, glass (photo: Terry Robinson, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Word to the wise: don’t put an anti-capitalist mural in a building owned by millionaires unless you want it trashed.

Rockefeller Center