Going Out of Style Redefines Milwaukee Art Museum Furniture Collection

Posted on May 24th, 2007

Milwaukee, WI, May 24, 2007— The Milwaukee Art Museum is proud to present its new exhibition, Going out of Style: 400 Years of Changing Tastes in Furniture, on view June 21 – September 30, 2007. Highlighting important shifts in aesthetic and cultural theory over four centuries of European settlement in America, the exhibition offers the public a truly unconventional interpretation of historic design. 

Instead of presenting designs to examine their popularity, the exhibition features prominent examples of historic furniture alongside negative and often humorous critiques in order to illustrate the ways in which designs lose favor. “Aside from revealing ever-changing tastes in design, the exhibition examines the motivations behind monumental shifts in aesthetic theory over 400 years, such as business prospects, social policies, and rediscovered links to the past,” notes Sarah Fayen, Assistant Curator at the Chipstone Foundation and Adjunct Assistant Curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Installed in the Decorative Arts Gallery on the Museum’s lower level, the exhibition features 18 pieces of furniture dating from the 1600s to the 1980s. Designs range from baroque to post-modern and include artists such as John Henry Belter, Gustav Stickley and Ettore Sottsass.

Exhibition Programs

On Thursday, July 12, the Milwaukee Art Museum presents “Fashionable Prejudice: Changing Tastes in American Furniture” at 6.15 pm in the Museum’s Lubar Auditorium. Featuring Professor Kenneth Ames from New York’s Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, the lecture is sponsored by the American Heritage Society.

Digital images available upon request.

This exhibition is organized by the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Chipstone Foundation; coordinated and curated at the Milwaukee Art Museum by Sarah Fayen.