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In early 2017, our fourth floor will be transformed into a new destination for historical education and innovation. During the current renovation, objects from our permanent collection are on view throughout the Museum.
Negro Life at the South
Oil on linen
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Silver-plated nickel hand mirror with beveled mirror and stepped upper border; reverse side with faceting suggesting skyscrapers.
The stepped-back skyscraper became a symbol of the modern American aesthetic, drawing both critical acclaim and disdain in the late 1920s and 1930s. The skyscraper motif was adopted for furniture, cocktail accessories, and other elements of interior design by leading modern designers such as Paul Frankl, Kem Weber, and Norman Bel Geddes. Bernard Rice's Sons Inc., with workrooms in Brooklyn and showrooms at 325 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, introduced its Apollo line in 1928, proclaiming: "The sky-scraper is the inspiration of modernism." In addition to dresser sets, the Apollo line included tea and coffee wares and accessories for cocktails, such as a beverage shaker and ice pail.
Purchased from Historical Design, New York, 2006.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
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New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
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New York, NY 10024