Organization:American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen

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American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC)
AbbreviationAUDAC
Formation1928
FounderPaul T. Frankl
Extinctionearly 1930s
Legal statusDefunct
PurposeTo encourage modern design and decorative arts in the United States
Location
  • New York, New York
Region
United States

The American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC) was an American society of designers and decorative artists that was active from 1928 until the early 1930s. The group aimed to bring modern principles of design, such as those promoted in Europe by the Wiener Werkstätte and the Bauhaus, to decorative arts in the United States.

History

The modernist furniture designer Paul T. Frankl immigrated from Vienna to New York in 1914.[1] He worked to establish Europe's flourishing principles of contemporary design in the United States by writing books such as New Dimensions: The Decorative Arts of Today [2] and by establishing a collective of fellow designers called the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC) in 1928.[3] Early members included designers who exhibited at the American Designers' Gallery, which showed interiors and furnishings designed by contemporary New York designers, such as Donald Deskey and Ilonka Karasz.[4]

AUDAC was modeled on European decorative arts societies such as the Société des Artistes Décorateurs in France. They published books on the new American design such as Modern American Design[5] and Annual of American Design[6] and put together influential exhibitions of their members' work, including one at the Brooklyn Museum in 1931 which showed work by Russel Wright, Ruth Reeves, and Rockwell Kent among many others.[7]

The group was well known by the early 1930s when Radio City Music Hall commissioned Donald Deskey and other AUDAC members to design the fabrics, textiles, and furnishings for the interior.[8] Many members (see list below) went on to long careers and well-known places in the history of twentieth-century design. However, due to the 1930s economic depression, the formal association was defunct by 1934.[9]

Mission

AUDAC placed an ad in a supplement for the magazine Creative Art in March 1930[10] which listed contact information for many of its members and described the mission of the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen thus:

AUDAC stands convinced that contemporary life demands an appropriate setting and that it is the work of the artist of all ages to mould the external world to suit the life of his time.

AUDAC realizes that the cultural contribution of an era is as clearly reflected in the decorative as in the other arts.

AUDAC was founded to give these convictions organized aid and voice.

AUDAC stands for: The advancement of the new tendencies in the decorative, industrial and applied arts. The elevation of standards in contemporary design. The development of STYLE rather than styles.

Founders and members

Founded by Paul T. Frankl in 1928.

Members included:

  • M. F. Agha
  • Richard F. Bach
  • Lucian Bernhard
  • M. D. C. Crawford
  • Donald Deskey
  • Alice Donaldson
  • Hugh Ferriss
  • Norman Bel Geddes
  • C. Adolph Glassgold
  • Wolfgang and Pola Hoffmann
  • Ellen M. Kern
  • Frederick John Kiesler
  • Peter Larsen
  • Robert Leonard
  • Marguerita Mergentime
  • Lewis Mumford
  • Ruth Reeves
  • Winold Reiss
  • Robert Schey
  • Lee Simonson
  • Edward Steichen
  • Edward Buk Ulreich
  • Kem Weber
  • Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Russel Wright
  • Paul M. Zimmermann


References

  1. Wilson, Richard Guy (2015). "Art Deco in the USA". Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T2283819. 
  2. Frankl, Paul Theodore (1928). New Dimensions: The Decorative Arts of Today in Words and Pictures. New York, Payson Clarke. OCLC 299341249. 
  3. Wilson, Richard Guy (2015). "Art Deco in the USA". Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T2283819. 
  4. Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (2018). "Design, 1925-50". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/dsgn2/hd_dsgn2.htm. Retrieved 2018-04-10. 
  5. *American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen, Robert L. Leonard, and C. Adolph Glassgold (1933). Modern American Design. New York, Ives Washburn. OCLC 1251649. 
  6. American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (1931). Annual of American Design. New York, Ives Washburn. OCLC 1251637. 
  7. *Susswein, Rita; Whitehead, Philip (1931). "The AUDAC Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum". Parnassus 3 (5): 14–15. doi:10.2307/770529. 
  8. *New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (1978). "RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL". http://s-media.nyc.gov/agencies/lpc/lp/0995.pdf. 
  9. *Woodham, Jonathan M. (2016). "American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen". A Dictionary of Modern Design. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191726767. http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780192800978.001.0001/acref-9780192800978-e-28. Retrieved 2018-04-06. 
  10. *Crosse, John (2010). "Foundations of Los Angeles Modernism: Richard Neutra's Mod Squad". Southern California Architectural History. https://socalarchhistory.blogspot.com/2010/08/. 

Sources

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen was the original source. Read more.