Research: Luce Center for American Art

Avant-Garde Objects

Avant-garde is a French term that denotes progressivity. In the decorative arts it usually refers to objects that seem new, or modern, and are unlike most contemporaneous examples. This sense of modernism may be owing to the design or to the use of unusual, or new, materials. Avant-garde, then, is a relative term historically. An object that seems modern in one age may seem conventional to a later eye. To many of us today, avant-garde objects often exhibit pared-down or abstract designs that shun conventional decoration inspired by nature or the human form. Avant-garde paintings and sculpture, whose artists seek new and radical vocabularies of form, are often abstract.

27 objects are included in this theme.
34.6077 Katherine S. Dreier
Unknown Forces, 1926

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82.168.1 Walter Dorwin Teague
Desk Lamp, Model #114, ca. 1939

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83.108.1 Frank Gehry
Side Chair, "Easy Edges", Designed 1971; Manufactured ca. 1982

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83.157a-b Frank Lloyd Wright
Side Chair, 1904

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84.67 Peter Muller-Munk
"Normandie" Pitcher, ca. 1935

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84.180 Louis Dierra
Armchair, ca. 1939

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84.275.4 Charles Eames
Lounge Chair, ca. 1946

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85.110 Paul T. Frankl
Clock, late 1920s

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85.163.5 Paul T. Frankl
"Skyscraper" Step Table, late 1920s

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1990.39.1 James W. Tufts
Teapot, ca. 1880

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1990.39.2 James W. Tufts
Creamer, ca. 1880

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1990.39.3a-b James W. Tufts
Sugar Bowl, ca. 1880

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1990.194.7a-b Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company
Covered Box, "Ruba Rombic", ca. 1928

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1991.6.1a-d Peter Shire
"Ode to a Soapstone Monkey" Cabinet-on-Stand, 1988

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1992.11.6 Stuart Davis
The Mellow Pad, 1945-1951

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1992.11.29 Max Weber
Russian Ballet, 1916

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1992.165.2 Russel Wright
Lantern, ca. 1935

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1992.208 George Jacob Hunzinger
Armchair, designed: 1869; patented: March 30, 1869

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1993.78.3 Walter Dorwin Teague
Candelabrum, One of Pair, "Classique Modern", Introduced 1934.

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1993.78.4 Walter Dorwin Teague
Candelabrum, One of Pair, "Classique Modern", Introduced 1934.

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1994.155.1 La Gardo Tackett
Vase, ca. 1946-1954

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1994.165.1a-d Russel Wright
Coffee Urn, ca. 1935

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1994.165.80 Unknown
Magazine Holder, ca. 1930

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1995.14 John Vassos
RCA Victor Special Model K, Portable Electric Phonograph, ca. 1935

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2000.42 Reed & Barton
Tazza, Modernist Pattern, ca. 1928

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2000.50.4 Karim Rashid
Sectional, Vessel, Manufactured 1999

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2001.36 Benjamin G. Bowden
Spacelander Bicycle, Prototype designed 1946; Manufactured 1960

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