Synopses & Reviews
From M & Ms to Post–It Notes, a charming and insightful collection of design marvels from everyday life, celebrated by the curator of the MoMA's department of architecture and design.
Every day we use dozens of tiny objects, from Post–It notes to Band–Aids. If they work well, chances are we do not pay them much attention. But although modest in size and price, some of these objects are true masterpieces of the art of design.
Paola Antonelli, curator of the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Design and Architecture, is a highly celebrated figure in the world of design (she was just ranked among the top 100 most powerful people in the world of art). Paola has long been passionate about the subject of everyday objects that are marvels of design. The response to her recent MoMA show, also called Humble Masterpieces, was electric. In addition to lively coverage in dozens of publications, the museum goers spread the word about the fun of learning about and nominating their own picks for humble masterpieces.
Now, in this colorful visual feast, Antonelli chooses 100 fabulous objects, from Chupa Chup lollipops to Legos to Chopsticks and Scotch tape. Each object will be portrayed with a gorgeous close–up detail, a brisk and informative text on its origin and special design features, as well as a silhouette image of the object as we see it each day. Certain to appeal to a broad audience, and to lend itself to fun, creative promotional opportunities, Humble Masterpieces will celebrate the possibility of looking at our everyday lives in an all–new way.
“Humble Masterpieces, like the designs it highlights, does its job smartly, eloquently, tidily.” Cnn.com
“A heartening read.” New York Times
Merit Award, Special Trade-General, New York Book Show No Source
“Delightfully illustrated.” Virgina Postrel
“Brilliantly conceived, impeccably executed, comprehensive, authoritative, chockablock with gorgeous photography and fascinating, surprising information.” Kurt Andersen
“A must-have compendium for the aesthetic perfectionist in you.” City Page One
“Antonelli imbues the text with reverence and passion befitting these revolutionary objects. . . . Visual wonder of a book.” Publishers Weekly
“One of those surprising books we never imagined we needed, but we do.” Interior Design
“Cleverly designed.” The Architect's Newspaper
“Short but fascinating vignettes on each objects creation or lifecycle. Inspirational.” Business Week
An insightful collection of design marvels from everyday life, celebrated by a curator of MoMA's Department of Architecture and Design
Every day we use dozens of small objects, from Q-tips to paper clips. If they work well, chances are we don't pay them much attention. Although modest in size and price, some of these objects are true masterpieces of the art of design.
In this colorful visual feast, Paola Antonelli portrays one hundred fabulous objects, from compact discs to LEGOs to chopsticks to Post-it notes. Short, informative text descriptions accompany stunning photographs of each object, detailing the little-known history of some of our favorite things. Did you know: That the fortune cookie is most definitely not Chinese in origin? That the first guitar picks were made from the shells of Atlantic hawksbill turtles? That M&M's were used by soldiers going into battle who needed a quick pick-me-up (hence the durable candy shell that prevented melting)? That the amount of wire used to make Slinkys since 1943 could wrap around the earth 126 times? That Salvador Dalí designed the famous daisy pattern on Chupa Chups lollipops?
Humble Masterpieces helps us see everyday objects in an all-new, extraordinary way.
About the Author
Paola Antonelli is one of the world's foremost design experts and was recently rated as one of the top one hundred most powerful people in the world of art by Art Review. She is a curator in the Depart-ment of Architecture and Design at The Mu-seum of Modern Art in New York City, where she curated the exhibition "Humble Masterpieces" to great acclaim. Italian, and an architect by training, Antonelli has also curated architecture and design exhibi-tions in Italy, France, and Japan. She has been a contributing editor for Domus magazine and the design editor for Abitare. A lecturer at Har-vard's Graduate School of Design, she is also the author of MoMA's Objects of Design and Safe: Design Takes on Risk. She lives in New York City with her husband.