By the late 19th century, artists and designers were ready for a radical departure from the mass-produced, “more is more” look of the Victorian era. They argued that beautiful living spaces and affordable, attractive furnishings could improve society. Revolutionizing Design united textiles and furnishings by those European and American design reformers who laid the foundation for modern design. The varied design movements at the turn of the century—including Aesthetic, Arts & Crafts, and Art Nouveau—shared a common interest in elevating interior decorating to the status of fine art. Their ideals, including simplicity and socially conscious design, continue to inspire designers today.

The exhibition program at the Museum is supported through the generosity of the Harry C. Trexler Trust, Julius and Katheryn Hommer Foundation, The Century Fund, Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment, Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and Friends of the Museum.

Frank Brangwyn (British, 1867-1956), Armchair, 1903, mahogany and African blackwood. Allentown Art Museum, purchase: The Leigh Schadt and Edwin Schadt Art Museum Trust Fund, 2002. (2002.011.002)