a Chaise longue with neutral leather and rounded metal tubes

Charlotte Perriand, designer, French, 1903–1999; Le Corbusier, designer, Swiss, 1887–1965; Pierre Jeanneret, designer, Swiss, 1896–1967; Thonet Frères, manufacturer, French, 1929–ca. 2000; Chaise longue, 1929, chromed tubular steel, reinforced rubber, original Smyrna wool and leather upholstery, and parchment; Carnegie Museum of Art, Women's Committee Acquisition Fund, 1996.19.A–.B

Crash Course: Her Seat at the Table: Women Designers in the 20th and 21st Centuries


Price: Pay What You Wish

Celebrate the inspiring histories of women in the fields of decorative arts and design!

Pull up a chair and discover the fascinating lives of an array of women who carved, wove, dyed, hammered, and shaped their own course in design history. Explore watershed moments and key locations of twentieth-century design thinking and making including the Bauhaus school in Germany and the Good Design program at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Learn about precedent-setting women who interrupted and created pathways through male-dominated fields at midcentury and meet contemporary women designers who are currently redefining their crafts.

Session 1: Designing an Industry Delve into the lives of seminal female industrial designers responsible for recognizably modern furniture, textiles, and dinnerware.

Session 2: Setting the Table Get to know 20th-century women ceramicists who set the table for wider acknowledgments of women designers.

Session 3: Lighting a Room Shine a light on forms of illumination designed by women who elevated the basic functionality of lighting through experimental forms, materials, and technology.

Session 4: Taking a Seat Explore current revisionist design histories that are leading to the greater inclusion of women and discover the furniture influencers of today who bring their own unique seats to the table.


Rachel Delphia is The Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at Carnegie Museum of Art. She recently curated Extraordinary Ordinary Things and Sharif Bey: Excavations. In 2015 she organized Silver to Steel: the Modern Designs of Peter Muller-Munk. Delphia holds a BFA in Industrial Design and MA in English from Carnegie Mellon University and MA in American Material Culture from the Winterthur Program at the University of Delaware. She has served as adjunct faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, teaching design history and exhibition design.

Alyssa Velazquez is the curatorial assistant of decorative arts and design at Carnegie Museum of Art. Prior to Pittsburgh, she was the Curatorial Research Associate for Van Gogh and His Inspirations (2019-2020, Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina). She also assisted in the development of the exhibition Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place (2018-2019, Bard Graduate Center Gallery, New York). Velazquez holds a MA from the Bard Graduate Center and a BA in history and anthropology from Washington College in Maryland. In 2020 she organized Locally Sourced, highlighting new work by the region's most talented present-day makers of functional goods and furnishings.

About Crash Course

Crash Course is an ongoing series of topic-specific art history courses hosted by Carnegie Museum of Art. Past courses have focused on artists' depictions of urban industry, Renaissance and Baroque art, and many others.