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Designing Modern AmericaBroadway to Main Street$
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Christopher Innes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108040

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108040.001.0001

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Society Scenery

Society Scenery

(p.83) 5 Society Scenery
Designing Modern America

Christopher Innes

Yale University Press

This chapter describes Joseph Urban's impact on the world of fashion. It is no surprise that he was also extensively involved in designing other kinds of public spaces—particularly ones that attracted the beautiful people of the 1920s and 1930s. There was a close interplay between these kinds of places, where people go to see and to be seen, and the stage. He used exactly the same highly decorated “festive” style of wall and ceiling design for both the auditorium of the Ziegfeld Theatre and for hotel roof-garden cabarets. Conversely, his scenery for Broadway shows frequently featured his own brand of Art Deco designs for restaurants, hotel lobbies and ballrooms, and nightclubs. Such scenes in turn brought him further commissions to remodel hotels and restaurants in New York and elsewhere, and formed the basis for his architectural layouts and decor.

Keywords:   world of fashion, beautiful people, festive style, Ziegfeld Theatre, Art Deco designs

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