This Red Bead Necklace was crafted from Bakelite (beads and chain links) cellulose acetate, with a metal clasp, and attributed to an unknown American designer. In the twentieth century, plastic manufacturing transformed the American jewelry industry and allowed for the production of fashionable yet affordable pieces. This chain link and cube necklace represents a style that was especially popular during the Depression era and the early 1940s.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
By the 1920s, the skyscraper was a symbol of American modernity. Here, designer Paul Frankl uses maple and Bakelite to suggest the jagged, upward-reaching outline of a New York skyscraper. By breaking with the constraints of the past, this towering architectural form expressed the excitement and optimism of a new era.
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.