Immerse yourself in 1930s America at this evening event tracing America from the Roaring Twenties through to the end of the Great Depression.

Explore our America’s Cool Modernism Exhibition, discover the glamour of 1930s Hollywood alongside the American rural farmstead, and be inspired by The Machine Age, The Great Gatsby and the effects of Prohibition.

Dress code: All-American vintage. Think cowboys, flapper girls, prairie farmers, Bugsy Malone and Hollywood starlets



Click here to download the programme


What to expect on the night:

  • Discover hidden Speakeasy Bars from clues scattered around the museum.
  • Live music from American Swing and Cabaret in the cafe, to cool jazz in the Rooftop Restaurant. 
  • Watch as the authentic Gatsby Girls show off their fancy footwork.
  • Laugh and learn at the Probhibition's a Drag event where Katie Gardner gives short talk on American legal restrictions placed on artists and their work and a hilarious performance from LiveFriday veterans The Dragprov Revue
  • Try out a 1930s Reading Machine invented by the modernist visual poet Bob Brown, updated using Augmented Reality by the AGAST Project at Oxford Brookes, and featuring words-in-motion by Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Brown himself!
  • Photobooth and Decadent Times Lounge @ The Rooftop Restaurant
  • 20s Fashion show edit by the stylists from the Westgate Centre’s John Lewis
  • Talk on Consuelo Vanderbilt- Blenheim Palace’s Dollar Princess by Blenheim Curator Antonia Keaney
  • Learn about the Medium of Modernism, African American Literature, The Little Black Dress, A Secret History of Cool and much more in the enaging talks available on the night. 
  • Meet modernist writers like James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemmingway as they explore the museum. 
  • Watch the 1930's classic talkie 'Anna Christie' starring Greta Garbo with Prof Alex Goody introducing the film and highlighting key points in this iconic film.
  • Try on and buy 1930's styled clothing from The Retro Room Vintage Shop.  
  • Explore our America’s Cool Modernism exhibition in an after-hours private view


For this late night LiveFriday event the Ashmolean worked with Blackwell’s Books, Curzon Cinema, the Oxford Playhouse & the Rothermere American Institute. 

This event was part part of our American Cool Arts Festival