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Florence Eiseman


Designing Childhood for the American Century

Florence Eiseman (1899 – 1988) created the look of childhood in the “American Century,” the period of prosperity that followed World War II. From the 1940s to the present, her iconic dresses and suits for children, especially her A-line shapes and graphic cutouts, have projected an image of childhood that feels simple, visually distinct from adulthood, and somehow timeless. In this video, Chipstone Curator and Director of Research Dr. Sarah Anne Carter and Charles Hummel Curatorial Fellow Natalie Wright walk through "Florence Eiseman: Designing Childhood for the American Century," an innovative exhibition that takes a critical look not only at Eiseman’s distinctive design aesthetic, but also at the ways her work has both represented and scripted key aspects of American childhood. Video by Jenny Plevin.

Florence Eiseman: Designing Childhood for the American Century (June 11 – October 8, 2017) was a collaborative exhibit between the Chipstone Foundation and the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

Also see: the online catalog Florence Eiseman, Designing Childhood for the American Century which is also available to purchase on Blurb's website, and Chipstone's online exhibit Florence Eiseman.