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A Room with Legs

by Amy Miller Dehan, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, and Emily Holtrop, Director of Learning & Interpretation

9/26/2022

Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom , Art Deco

We hope you had the chance to explore the glamorous interior at the heart of this summer’s exhibition, Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom by Joseph Urban (on view July 8–Oct. 2). If you missed it or couldn’t make a return visit, do not despair—check out the interactive website that our team developed in tandem with the time-limited physical presentation of the Wormser bedroom.

Conceived to give the room “legs,” this digital experience allows the public to access the room and its related themes beyond the run of the exhibition. It also offers a solution to an issue that we and other museums struggle with: the desire to present more of our collection despite physical space constraints.

Available here, the interactive seeks to present the immersive and transportive experience of a historic interior through 360-degree photography. Video, audio, and blog-style articles provide a multilayered understanding of the room, its contents, story, and era.

Visitors will find fresh content not included in the exhibition or its accompanying publication. This includes a more in-depth look at the Art Deco style and the era’s cultural developments, such as jazz and the rise of the city. The interactive also portrays the stories of the skilled craftspeople, whose names we do not know, who created Urban’s designs and the female staff who worked inside the Wormsers’ home to maintain the room. We also delve into the varied experiences of immigrants, women, and people of color in the 1920s—a time marked simultaneously by progress and inequity.

This accessibility-friendly interactive website was developed by the exhibition’s curator Amy Dehan, Curator of Decorative Arts & Design; Talia Shiroma, intern [Bryn Mawr College]; and Emily Holtrop, Director of Learning and Interpretation, in partnership with interactive website developer MOJO, and supported by a grant from the Decorative Arts Trust.