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Eames + Valastro: Design in the Life of an American Family Hardcover – Illustrated, January 1, 2011


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Hardcover, Illustrated, January 1, 2011
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: The O Team; 1ST edition (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615540910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615540917
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,652,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Roger Remington on November 21, 2011
Daniel Ostroff has been diligently researching and documenting, in great detail, the rich design contributions of Charles and Ray Eames.
His new book is an essential look at one specific family and the intimate effect of the Eames furniture on their living environment over many years. It is particularly valuable in that it gives the reader an idea of how the Eames' furniture was originally intended, not as products for the Modernist elite but as affordable, functional objects that contribute to a higher quality of life. A brief but most comprehensive and valuable read which adds greatly to the emerging and important Eames lore. We owe a debt of gratitude to Daniel Ostroff for this new contribution to the history of design in America.

R, Roger Remington
Vignelli Distinguished Professor of Design
Rochester Institute of Technology
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roux on December 21, 2011
It takes a producer-curator-historian hybrid to produce a design manifesto that reads like a radio play. I love this book, I recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JJ Kishel on December 16, 2011
Verified Purchase
I often wish that I could hear a retelling of the story that accompanies great collections like this.
This is a great detailed account of the personal history of beautiful pieces of Eames designed furniture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L.A. Lawyer on February 14, 2012
Movie producer and Eames scholar Daniel Ostroff has authored a lovely gem of a book about one mid-Century family's collection of Eames furniture. The book is of obvious interest to design and furniture geeks, bit it is also of more broad interest to anyone interested in how Americans lived mid-Century.

Gladys Valastro, who went on to become an anti-TV mom, got married on Valentine's Day 1954 and she and her new husband Sal lived in a one and a half room apartment in Brooklyn. The Valastro's didn't have a lot of money, but they were intoxicated by good design and spent their wedding money buying Eames' pieces. The furniture then followed them and their two small boys around the country as they moved for Sal's jobs. Growing up in the '60's and '70's, the Valastro boys gradually learned to appreciate the unusual furniture in their home, which was quite different than the colonial furniture that they saw when they went to visit the homes of their playmates.

Baby boomers will find plenty in this book to be nostalgic about -- a time before everything for the home was manufactured cheaply disposable and available at your nearest superstore, only to be replaced in a year or two. Those of us suburban baby boomers who grew up surrounded by Sears' furniture, not Eames, will enjoy this book as well -- this baby boomer still remembers her eyes popping wide open as a teenager when she saw her first modern furniture pieces and realized there was a whole wide world out there beyond the overstuffed chairs and fake French provincial that filled the track houses in her suburban neighborhood.

Buy the book if you love Eames furniture. Buy the book even if you don't love Eames furniture and you just want to read an engaging story about one mid-Century couple who, without a lot of money, had an eye for design and were able to pass that on as a legacy to their sons.
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