The 1920s Project

Spring and Summer Semesters 2024

It is 100 years since:

  • Native Americans got the right to vote
  • The most restrictive immigration legislation in US history was passed
  • Louis Armstrong moved from Chicago to New York and became the toast of the town
  • The first Macy’s Thanksgiving parade moved down Fifth Avenue
  • George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was premiered
  • George and Gladys Dick identified the cause of scarlet fever.

Are you wondering about, or remembering, other important events of the 1920s? 

Join OLLI instructors and members as we explore the rich history of the 1920s during the spring and summer semesters. 

Look for this symbol      to indicate classes in this series in our course catalogs.  See the summer catalog for more information.

 Special Event

The Harlem Renaissance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Tuesday, June 4, 2024

This groundbreaking exhibition explores the far-reaching ways in which Black artists portrayed modern life in the Roaring Twenties. 160 works of painting, sculpture, film, photographs and ephemera explore Black lives and experience in 1920s–40s Harlem in the decades of the Great Migration, when millions of African Americans moved out of the segregated Jim Crow South. The exhibition establishes the Harlem Renaissance as a central facet in the development of modern art. Many of the paintings and sculptures come from the extensive collections of Historically Black Colleges/Universities and from private collections here and in Europe.

Event details can be found on the event page here.

Wait list open, registrations at capacity.

 Spring Classes

The Roaring Twenties

Stacy Wallach will begin his twelve-week history of the 1920s.  The second six weeks will be in the summer semester. Click on title above for full class description.

Inventing Modernism

David Langston, a favorite OLLI instructor and emeritus MCLA professor, will introduce “Modernism” a ubiquitous, reviled and revered, movement that shaped all the arts as it came to full flower in the 1920s. Click on title above for full class description.

 Summer Classes

The following courses are confirmed for the summer.  Full descriptions of the courses will be available in early May. Watch for additional courses which will be posted as they become available.

The Roaring Twenties

Stacy Wallach’s history of the 1920s will continue for six-weeks in June and early July. 

The Harlem Renaissance

This nine-week overview of the Harlem Renaissance will be taught by a team of experienced OLLI instructors and guests.  Frances Jones-Sneed, PhD emeritus professor of history from MCLA, will kick off the course introducing the historical setting.  David Mickenberg, PhD, art historian and museum director, will introduce the important visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance and David Langston, PhD, MCLA emeritus professor of literature, will share key writers and their works.  Guest speakers will join the anchor faculty in person and via Zoom.

Science and Medicine in the 1920s

This eleven-week class will introduce key innovations in medicine and many of the puzzles of astronomy and quantum physics that scientists are still exploring today.

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