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A compelling visual tour of mid-twentieth-century design introduces readers to the bold, trend-setting architecture of the 1940s and 1950s. 30,000 first printing.
In both homes and furnishings, the modern look, known for its clean, spare lines and inventiveness, elicited strong opinions–which is exactly what classic designers like Ray and Charles Eames, George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe intended. Classic Modern: Midcentury Modern at Home celebrates the work of these innovators and the longevity of their designs as we move into a new millennium.
Starting off with side-by-side photos, we see several modern houses when they were originally built and how they now appear. They look both futuristic and up to date in the companion photos and are impressive in the way they integrate easily into the outdoors. The first section of the book concentrates on the “flexible system of elements tailored to the climate and topography of a certain site” and “interior spaces [which] flowed into one another, somewhat than being divided by separate boxes connected by hallways.” The second one section invites you to tour especially significant or evocative modern estates, some of which are inhabited and others which are showpieces. Particularly interesting is the curved glass Palm Springs home of Raymond Loewy, designer of the Coca-Cola bottle, which is arranged around a free-form pool lapping the desert. A subsequent chapter examines modern architecture in the suburbs where the midcentury influence will also be seen on a smaller, more cost effective–but not less impressive–scale.
The photos show the sophisticated appeal of midcentury modern and illustrate the careful placement furniture for the greatest effect. And for individuals who need to know more about the furniture and the architects, the creator has included lists of “where to shop for” and biographies at the back of the book. –Dana Van Nest