Alison Charny

Dining Under the Stars


Joseph Urban’s design for the Roof Garden at the Hotel Gibson in Cincinnati, Ohio, reflects turn of the century summer-dining at its finest. Late-nineteenth century American roof gardens were inspired by European pleasure gardens, often devoted to entertainment.  New York producer, composer, and entrepreneur Rudolph Aronson is credited with not only bringing the roof garden to the United States, but also making it a place for entertainment as well as for food and drink.

Pulsating Life


Gunta (Aldegunde) Stölzl is known for her weaving and teaching at the Bauhaus. Her compelling textile designs, which play on line and color, appeal as independent artworks in themselves.
Gunta (Aldegunde) Stölzl, Bauhaus, textile design, drawing, watercolor, World War I, Germany, Color

Sea of Mystery


This design for a stained glass window of a mermaid beneath the sea was commissioned by Associated Artists (the decorating firm of Louis Comfort Tiffany, Candace Wheeler, with (at times) Samuel Colman and Lockwood de Forest) for the Manhattan home of Wells Fargo President Ashbel H.
Elihu Vedder, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Candace Wheeler, Samuel Colman, Lockwood de Forest, Associated Artists, New York, stained glass, drawing

Noah's Ark


In this ornate design made of cut paper, contemporary artist Ernst Oppliger depicts three pairs of couples in windows at the top of a towering structure, while the windows below contain silhouettes of many exotic animals, including elephants, giraffes, and ostriches.
Ernst Oppliger, cut paper, silhouette, Switzerland, religious subjects, animals

A Chair for the American Family


In 1951, Danish architect and designer Finn Juhl brought Danish Modernism to forefront of American consciousness. He did so with his interior for the “Good Design” Exhibition in Chicago, as well his design for the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the UN headquarters in New York, which he completed the following year. However, Juhl’s sculptural forms, praised as the height of modern design, were not only placed on display in prominent American arenas but were also integrated into American homes, bringing  European design to the average American consumer.
Finn Juhl, Danish Modernism, America, mass production, chair, Kaare Klint, Bauhaus, Baker Modern, Niels Vodder

Collegiate Banners, Textile Design


There is no evidence that Tommi Parzinger’s textile design of collegiate banners was ever produced. Nevertheless, the brightly-colored red, blue, yellow and green flags speak to both the designer’s aesthetic and the time period. Throughout the postwar 1950s, as Parzinger’s career in New York took off, a wave of college spirit swept the United States.
textile design, 20th century, Tommi Parzinger, New York