Donald Albrecht

American Style:
Colonial Revival and the
Modern Metropolis

Museum of the City of New York
2011

Co-curated with Thomas Mellins.

Throughout American history, no style has proven more enduring than the Colonial Revival. Powerfully connecting the present to the past, the Colonial Revival remains popular today, retaining its status as the American style. Surprisingly, New York City—the ultimate modern metropolis, endlessly changing and rebuilding itself in a rush to the future—has long been home to some of the world’s great revivalist styles of architecture and design, including the Colonial Revival. New York architects created social clubs, town halls, and post offices in the style. Designers and manufacturers produced popular examples of Colonial Revival furnishings, often in collaboration with collectors, museum curators, department store executives, and publishers who disseminated the images that define the Colonial Revival style across the country. New Yorkers also advanced the Colonial Revival through elaborate events staged during moments of both celebration and adversity. Accompanied by a 224-page catalog.

Mr. Albrecht and his co-curator conceived and developed the idea of the show and catalog, selected all artifacts, wrote the exhibition text and catalog, and assembled the design team.


Press
“One of the achievements of the illuminating exhibition
The American Style…is that it helps make the invisible visible.” Edward Rothstein, New York Times, June 13, 2011

“A small, unorthodox exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York…has a large agenda: to restore the reputation of a tradition discarded by modernists as irrelevant and expendable…” Ada Louise Huxtable, Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2011

Mr. Albrecht developed the concept and themes of the show, its organization, and he assembled its design team.


Credits
Co-curator: Thomas Mellins
Exhibition designer: Peter Pennoyer Architects
Exhibition graphics and catalog designer: Abbott Miller/Pentagram
Lighting designer: Anita Jorgensen
Installation photographer: Peter Mauss/Esto Photographics