Sforzina: Designs for a Modern America, 1924–1941

Before the opening of the famous Paris Exposition in 1925 that solidified Art Deco, the roots of the style were already planted in the United States by French designer Edgard Sforzina. In his short but prolific career in America, Sforzina worked on several notable projects, including interior design and furniture for George Gershwins’s Riverside Drive apartment and the Cincinnati Union Terminal.

This exhibition shares just a few of the hundreds of designs that Sforzina created during his nearly 20-year career in the United States. From the material presently known, he was exceptionally talented and multi-faceted. Sforzina was an artist, artisan, industrial designer, interior designer, and architect.

In early 2019, Northern Virginia resident Denise Allen approached the Art Deco Society of Washington with an inquiry about an extensive collection of drawings, photographs, prototypes, and professional records in her possession: the work of her grandfather, Edgard Sforzina. Since then, Denise, along with Art Deco Society Board Member Jim Linz and professional curator Deborah Sorensen have sorted, catalogued, scanned, and photographed more than 500 items in the collection.

We hope this exhibition will serve as a catalyst to encourage others to do further research to help us better understand the full extent of Sforzina’s story and his contributions to Art Deco design.

About Edgard Sforzina

Edgard Sforzina was educated at the Ecole Nationale des Art Decoratifs in Paris. During the first half of his career, he worked for some highly regarded Parisian interior design firms and furniture manufacturers before entering the service in World War I. After the war, Lucien Alavoine & Company hired him as a designer. Three years later the Company sent Sforzina to work in their New York office.

Sforzina formally immigrated to the United States soon after, settling with his family in New York. He was active in the U.S. for two decades, working independently and in partnership with others. He was also employed by the architecture firm, Fellheimer & Wagner, the principal architects of the Cincinnati Union Terminal. Sforzina died at the age of 60 after a brief illness in early 1941.

About the Art Deco Society of Washington

The Art Deco Society of Washington is a non-profit organization incorporated to foster awareness, preservation, and appreciation of the Art Deco period in the Washington, DC area.


Sforzina: Designs for a Modern America, 1924–1941 is organized by the Art Deco Society of Washington in cooperation with AIA|DC for the Suman Sorg Gallery.



Denise Allen, granddaughter of Edgard Sforzina

Jim Linz, The Art Deco Society of Washington

Deborah Sorensen, Curator

Jennifer Byrne, Live/Create/Play


The Art Deco Society of Washington

David M. Schwarz Architects

Karen Burditt & Steve Knight

Linda & Jonathan Lyons

Rubylane Antiques