Bayer, who manages the family's archive, has done an extraordinary work in bringing the legacy of her grandmother to life. She has recently published a monograph, reissued several of her original designs, made loans and gifts to museum collections, and has conducted talks across the country. One of the most powerful aspects of Mergentime's legacy was her avant-garde Manhattan apartment, situated in the Beresford, the iconic Art Deco residential tower on Central Park West (above). The sleek, streamlined interiors were created by Austrian émigré Frederick Kiesler during the Depression era, and its B&W photographs have been recently included in several museum exhibitions.
The presentation during Modernism Week will be a great opportunity to learn about the life and work of one of the handful female members of the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen, an organization that brought together such pioneers of modern design as Donald Deskey, Russel Wright, and Gilbert Rohde. It will illuminate the role of the department store in promoting modern design, and the notion of modernism during the years of the Depression. The talk will conclude with a book signing of Bayer's 'Marguerita Mergentime: American Textiles, Modern Ideas.'