MADE IN NEW YORK: The 27th Annual Parsons/Cooper Hewitt Graduate Student Symposium on the History of Design

MADE IN NEW YORK: The Twenty-Seventh Annual
Parsons/Cooper Hewitt Graduate Student Symposium
on the History of Design
April 26 and 27, 2018
Lecture Room (Lower Level)
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street
New York, NY 10128

Click here to register.
Can’t make it? Tune in to our live stream during the program of events (full schedule below).

A unique confluence of circumstances made New York City both a chief entrepot of early America and something of a cultural anomaly in the country. More diverse than many other American cities, even in the 18th century, a major center of immigration, more highly urbanized, and more open to social experimentation than other parts of the country, New York has often been seen as in but not fully of America: a symbol of otherness.

By the early 19th century, the city had already become one of the largest manufacturing centers in the country: the leader in fashion and high style, and in shopping culture, earning it the sobriquet The Great Emporium. New York City was also the media center of the country in the 1800s, home to publishing houses and, by the early 20th century, a nascent film industry, establishing and disseminating American cultural norms and archetypes.

Today, large-scale manufacturing has long since left the city, but a vibrant culture of making remains. From artisinal woskshops to medium-scale factories, New Yorkers continue to produce tangible goods. Local production is also an essential factor in creating an environmentally sustainable city.

This year’s Catherine Hoover Voorsanger Keynote speaker will be Peter M. Kenny, co-President of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and former Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts and Administrator of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Keynote will take palce Thursday, April 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the  Lecture Room (lower level) and will be followed by a reception in the Great Hall.

The symposium sessions will take place Friday, April 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m in the Lecture Room (lower level).


Thursday, April 26, 5:30 pm

The Catherine Hoover Voorsanger Keynote Address:
Peter M. Kenny, Classical American Homes Preservation Trust
I ❤ New York: An American Furniture Historian’s Perspective

Reception to follow.


Friday, April 27

Session One, 10:30 a.m.

Cynthia Kok, Yale University, History of Art
Japonse Rokken, Bizarre Silks, and Portraiture: the Making of Dutch-American Merchant Identity in Seventeenth-Century New York.

Benjamin Green, Parsons School of Design, History of Design and Curatorial Studies
Constructing the American Look: New York’s Emergence as a Global Fashion Capital.

Michelle Millar Fisher, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Art History
“Jobs, products, and pride”: New Breed, the Dashiki, and Black-owned Manufacture in New York in the Age of Civil Rights.


Session Two, 2:30 p.m.

Sarah W. Mallory, New York University, Institute of Fine Arts
Golden Ghosts: Harry Herman Roseland’s Genre Scenes.

Anna Rasche, Parsons School of Design, History of Design and Curatorial Studies
Dreicer & Company: Forgotten Jewelers of the Gilded Age.

Jeffery McCullough, Parsons School of Design, History of Design and Curatorial Studies
A Collection Grows in Brooklyn.

The symposium is free and open to the public.
Organized by the Parsons/Cooper Hewitt MA Program in the History of Design and Curatorial Studies.
For more information: (212) 849-8344 or



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