Inside & Out

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Modernist design can't be ignored

You hear a lot about American 20th century modern design, and the Art Institute of Chicago offers a chance to learn more.

This has become an important aesthetic for both decorating and collecting.

The museum's permanent collection features designers such as Mies van der Rohe (furniture), Charles and Ray Eames (furniture and more) and Eva Zeisel (ceramics).

Information about these icons is in "Shaping the Modern: American Decorative Arts at The Art Institute of Chicago, 1917-65," a new book that describes the collection.

Jennifer Downs, assistant curator of American Decorative Arts, will lecture from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and sign books afterward.

The event is in the Price Auditorium of the Art Institute, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Call (312) 443-3680.

Feel like a farmer when you harvest

Herb gardens can be small, but they give so much - great cooking, aromatic sachets, decorating and landscaping.

HGTV.com, the cable network's Web site, features information about herbs, starting with landscaping to make your herb garden attractive in every season. …