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About 15 years ago, I accidentally anticipated a trend: At my first Eastern Market auction, I saw some boxy, strangely appealing wooden furniture going for downright silly prices (imagine—a sofa for $15). I’d never heard of “Mission style” furniture before. Wish I’d bought some: A couple of years later, Barbra Streisand laid out $363,000 for a Gustav Stickley sideboard. Now, J.C. Penney sells Stickley knockoffs, and Streisand’s tastes have turned elsewhere. (Her sideboard went for $596,500 at auction last year.) But my few pieces of Arts and Crafts-style oak still look as good as they did when they were the retro style du jour. Oscar P. Fitzgerald, author of Four Centuries of American Furniture, takes a look at sideboards, chairs, and occasional tables of the 1900s, from Mission to Moderne and beyond, in “Was It the American Century for Furniture, Too?” The slide-illustrated lecture starts at 6 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue SW. $13. (202) 357-3030. (Pamela Murray Winters)