Amy F. Ogata

19th and 20th century Architectural and Design History
Material Culture of Childhood

Ph.D. Art and Archaeology, Princeton University 
M.A. Princeton University
B.A. Smith College

My research explores the history of modern European and American architecture, design, and decorative arts, as well as world’s fairs, and the material culture of childhood. My most recent book Designing the Creative Child: Playthings and Places in Midcentury America appeared in 2013. Historicizing the idea of childhood creativity, I show how material goods such as toys, playrooms, playgrounds, books, schools, and even museums produced for the American baby boom participated actively in forming the notion of the creative child after World War II. My first book was on architecture and design in turn-of-the-century Belgium, Art Nouveau and the Social Vision of Modern Living: Belgian Artists in a European Context (2001). I am now working on a study of metal and the metallic in Second Empire France. I have received grants from the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the American Association of University Women, the Smithsonian Institution, the Spencer Foundation, the Belgian-American Foundation, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Selected Recent Publications:

 “Good Toys,” “Back to School,” “The Modern Playroom,” “Disneyland,” and “McDonald’s” in The Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000, edited by Juliet Kinchin (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2012).

 “Georges Hoentschel’s Pavilion for the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs, Art Nouveau, and the Cabinet d’Amateur at the Fin de Siècle,” Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum, edited by Ulrich Leben and Deborah Krohn (New York: BGC/Yale University Press, 2013).

“The Heathcote School: An Object Lesson,” The Senses and Society 4, no. 3 (2009): 347-352.

“Building for Learning in Postwar American Elementary Schools,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 67, no. 4 (2008): 562-591.

“Building Imagination in Postwar American Children’s Rooms,” Studies in the Decorative Arts (issues in interior design history edited by Pat Kirkham, Penny Sparke, and Jeremy Aynsley) XVI, no. 1 (2008-09): 126-142.

  “Creative Playthings: Educational Toys and Postwar American Culture,” Winterthur Portfolio 39, nos. 2/3 (2004): 129-156. [Appeared Summer 2005]

Amy F. Ogata's courses include:

523 Ornament, Primitivism, and the Idea of Decoration
554 Art Nouveau in Europe
562 Politics and Design of World’s Fairs
594 The Material Culture of Childhood
738 Readings in Design History
758 European Modernism
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