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Landmarks of Twentieth-Century Design: An Illustrated Handbookby Kathryn B Hiesinger
Synopses & Reviews
Indispensable for anyone interested in style of design, this comprehensive volume establishes the definitive list of this century's masterworks of design. A landmark in its own right, this encyclopedic handbook presents the first thoroughgoing analysis of the 20th century's design milestones. Many of the 350 choices are obvious icons of designÑBell Telephone's black desk phone, Mies's Barcelona chair, the Sony WalkmanÑwhile others have been more subtly influential. But taken together, these remarkable and often revolutionary objects represent this era's design at its finest. While other books have discussed individual designers, styles, and media, only this richly illustrated volume synthesizes these issues in an all-encompassing discussion of international design, including graphics, furniture, lighting, textiles, and more from the Americas, Europe, and Japan. An invaluable list for those who consider themselves visually literate, these objects have been chosen for their genius, originality, and beauty, as well as their far-reaching impact. For anyone interested in the visual artsÑan audience that reaches far beyond the specialistÑLandmarks of Twentieth-Century Design provides an extraordinary guide to the designs that have transformed modern life. 400 illustrations, 100 in full color
Book News Annotation:
Hiesinger and Marcus (Phila. Museum of Art) have assembled 400 examples of industrial and graphic design, furniture, lighting, appliances, and decorative objects (100 photos in color). Arrangement is chronological. About half the average page is given to photos. Artifacts are related back and forward in time (direct cross-references would save index use). Good book. The title is accurate; landmarks does not suggest beauty (the 20th c. has produced myriad design horrors).
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Philadelphia Museum of Art was founded in 1876, after its home city hosted the Centennial, with the primary goal of acquiring important examples of contemporary design and decorative arts. Collecting Modern explores for the first time the development and significance of this extraordinary collection, making unprecedented use of the Museum's archival resources, much of which has never been published. This overview reveals changing attitudes toward collecting over time, as Philadelphia (historically a conservative city) and its flagship museum were confronted with the dramatic aesthetic shifts heralded by modernism.
From being the largest institutional collector of Tiffany glass in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to coaxing Florence Knoll Bassett out of retirement in 2005 to design her own exhibition, the Museum has made a unique contribution to the history of design through its collections and programs. Providing a thoughtful analysis of the Museum's history as a steward of contemporary decorative arts, this beautiful publication is a vital reference for anyone interested in the history of museums, decorative arts, and design.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 402-404) and index.
About the Author
Kathryn Hiesinger and George Marcus are colleagues at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Hiesinger is the curator of European decorative arts and Marcus is head of the publications department.
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