Exploring the World of Tomorrow:  Annual Michael J. Smith Art Deco Event

Exploring the World of Tomorrow:
Annual Michael J. Smith Art Deco Event


When: Wednesday, May 15, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: Dolby Screening Room
Where: 1350 6th Ave, New York, NY 10019


About the Event:

Join ADSNY for the next installment of the Michael J. Smith, American Art Deco Series. This year’s three-part program––to celebrate the life and legacy of our advisor and dear friend, design pioneer, Michael Smith––will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the opening of the 1939 World’s Fair!

In part one of this program, attendees will enjoy the New York premiere of I Have Seen the Future, a visually dazzling documentary by Brooklyn-born filmmaker and composer Darby CicciThe mesmerizing color footage––recorded by fair-goer Philip Medicus, on early Kodachrome 16mm film, with just a handheld Magazine Cine-Kodak camera––will give our twenty-first century audience the rare opportunity to step back in time and journey through the Fair just as a visitor would have experienced the architecture, exhibits, art, and culture in 1939. Our one-of-a-kind virtual tour is set to an original score composed and performed by Cicci to blend both nostalgic and modern elements. He even restored a 1937 Zenith tube radio, and re-recorded the entire score through the 80-year-old paper speaker to closely capture the original sound of the era.

Part two of the special evening will feature an illustrated talk by author, scholar, and curator, Donald Albrecht. In his talk, Past, Present, and Future of Futurama, Albrecht will highlight how Norman Bel Geddes’s Futurama––an architectural and technological marvel of its time––was one of the most popular attractions at the 1939 New York World’s Fair and the pinnacle of Bel Geddes’s four-decade career. This lecture will explore Futurama’s roots in Bel Geddes’s experience as an avant-garde theater designer and creative ad man and will also examine how Futurama represented a vision of an egalitarian America that was shaped to the last detail by a god-like Bel Geddes. The lecture will conclude with a discussion of Futurama’s impact on transportation systems and populist architecture in the United States after World War II.

For part three of the evening, as a special thank you to each individual who registers for this program at the Champion level or above, we are extending an invitation to a private, champagne supper, at ADSNY’s President’s Deco-filled apartment in the sky with breathtaking views of the Chrysler and Empire State buildings. The apartment, with furnishings meticulously curated by Michael Smith, is the perfect setting to gather and celebrate Michael, a unique New Yorker who enriched so many lives through his love of New York and Depression Modern design.

This evening will also include the presentation of the third annual Michael J. Smith Art Deco Excellence Award, which honors those who make a major contribution to the ongoing study and celebration of American design between the two world wars.

About the Speakers:

Darby Cicci is a musician, filmmaker, and composer from Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for his work as multi-instrumentalist, producer, and engineer for the acclaimed Brooklyn indie rock band The Antlers, as well as his solo project School of Night. Since 2007, he has released seven albums, played hundreds of shows, and toured around the world. He has performed in such iconic NYC venues as Radio City Music Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Kings Theatre, and on television’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. His compositions have been included in many films, TV shows, and commercials, appearing on networks including AMC, HBO, NBC, and Netflix.

Donald Albrecht has curated exhibitions at major institutions that have ranged from overviews of cultural trends to profiles of individual design firms and artists. Some of his most memorable exhibitions include Paris/New York: Design Fashion Culture, 1925–1940I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America; and the National Design Triennial for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. For most exhibitions, Albrecht also develops and edits the catalogs, contributing major essays and works with others to provide fresh critical perspectives. His catalogs have garnered numerous awards, including the Society of Architectural Historians’ Best Exhibition Catalogue. Mr. Albrecht has also contributed essays to a number of books about architecture and design and has written extensively about the relationship between architecture and film, starting with his seminal book, Designing Dreams: Modern Architecture in the Movies.

About the Michael J. Smith Fund:

To celebrate the legacy of our trusted advisor and dear friend, Michael J. Smith, the Art Deco Society of New York (ADSNY) has established the Michael J. Smith Fund to ensure that Michael’s passion for Art Deco continues to inspire others through engaging and informative programs for years to come.

To honor his strong commitment to ADSNY, we use the Fund to present the Michael J. Smith American Art Deco Series—annual events, such as this one, exploring interior and industrial design and the decorative arts that expressed the American spirit of the era, from the 1920s through the early 1940s. Click here for more information on the Fund

All proceeds from this event are a tax-deductible contribution in support of ADSNY’s Michael J. Smith Fund.



All proceeds from this event are a tax-deductible contribution in support of ADSNY’s Michael J. Smith Fund.

These donation levels include one full access ticket to the special presentation and film screening:

Member: $35.00
Supporter: $100.00
Patron: $250.00

These donation levels include one premier, reserved seat for the special presentation and film screening, in addition to one invitation to the exclusive champagne supper in a private, deco-filled residence overlooking the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building:

Champion: $500.00
Benefactor: $1,000.00
Angel: $2,500.00

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Please note: ADSNY does not mail event tickets. When you register, your name(s) and contact information are added to the event’s list of attendees. The PayPal confirmation that you receive––via email, after your payment is completed––is the confirmation of your registration for the event.


All ticket sales and donations are final. Sorry, there are no refunds or exchanges.
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