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Handcrafted Modern: At Home with Mid-century Designers Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Handcrafted Modern gives a fascinating glimpse into the homes that significant architects and designers - Harry Bertoia, Eva Zeisel, and Charles and Ray Eames, to name a few - built for themselves" ~C

"A revealing photo essay" ~Elle Decor

"Every now and then, a book arrives which is not just a handsome presentation of information, but also a completely satisfying aesthetic object. This is the case with Handcrafted Modern by Leslie Williamson. Her photographs inside designers' (mostly) midcentury modernist homes capture something of the inhabitant and his or her pattern of living. But they reveal something more--something of the life of the designer of the space." ~Architects Newspaper

"Bottom line--This book is simply superb! ...this is a must have for any design enthusiast, especially anyone who appreciates the handcrafted... this publication will not disappoint" ~Design Therapy blog

About the Author

Leslie Williamson is a photographer based in San Francisco. Her work has appeared in Dwell, Surface, and Travel + Leisure magazines.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli; 9.1.2010 edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847834182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847834181
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.2 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jim Smith on November 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I must say I disagree with the previous reviewer. Out of focus? The photographs I'm looking at have an artistry to them that goes beyond the clinical maximization of detail. I'd say she does a great job of capturing the mood of these personal spaces. Some of these homes and the rooms in them have been lived in and lovingly looked after for 40 years and more by their owners. They aren't showrooms. They have worn edges and faded colors in places, which makes them just that much more appealing to my mind. The diffuse natural lighting she's using I find to be a perfect fit to this subject. Some of the shots are just gorgeous and the book has page after page of them, many in full-page format.

I'm just glad someone has taken the time to create a record of these spaces at this phase of their existence. They very well may be gone (at least in non-museum form) in not too many more years. Definitely one of the better books of this type I've come across, and one I'm extremely happy to have added to my library.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Marilyn Duncan on November 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book with a fascinating premise; a look at the inside of artists' homes and work spaces. My experience is limited to seeing and enjoying photography in museum exhibits, usually by well known artists, but this new book has opened my eyes to the possibilities of modern photography and the interesting stories which lie behind the pictures. Leslie Williamson has a bright future ahead of her and we can take "Handcrafted Modern: At Home with Mid-century Designers" in hand to peruse at our leisure and for much personal pleasure.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By mkm on December 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many of the artists/architects/designers whose homes are the subjects of this book, had never before allowed someone to capture (let alone publish) their home or such details of them. They chose to let Leslie Williamson inside to see how they actually live/lived. As I savored this book, I enjoyed thinking about why. Why her? Certainly, it wasn't because she's a disinterested photojournalist or architectural photographer. I've googled around and seen some of her other work--a photojournalist or architectural photographer she is not. She's a fine-art photographer.

I think that they saw, as I do, that she's a very thorough, thoughtful and appreciative artist who, if given a chance, might reveal a bit more to the world about what their own work means. They wanted to be seen by HER. I am glad for that.

The act of choosing her subjects, courting them and then deciding how to photograph their homes is an artistic act. Some of the images are poetic. Others are down right funny. All of them are beautiful and do justice to their subject.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Emily A. on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is stunning. Featuring the beautifully photographed homes of famous midcentury architects, furniture makers, and designers, this book demonstrates how creative people infuse aesthetics into every object and experience, and how we work very hard to build up a world of handcrafted beauty around ourselves. Each home profile is like stepping into the magical world of the particular "fable" that each architect or designer constructed with his or her life. This is not your "cold," "clean-lined" modernism--in these homes, "modern" refers to the act of working with natural materials and bringing out their special characteristics and potential. Because she was committed to photographing on film and using only natural light or light sources from within the homes, Leslie Williamson's exquisite, golden-hued photographs produce an almost-tangible nostalgia. As an added treat, each house profile is accompanied by Williamson's charming, poetic ruminations, interwoven with a bit of background on each figure. This book is truly an inspiration for those of us who just love looking at beautiful things, and it's a blueprint for those of us who enjoy pushing the boundaries of everyday existence by creating one-of-a-kind living environments that are as practical as they are breathtaking.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By norman on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written text. Great photos of wonderful mid century modern homes. All the artists own! Like walking into a museum.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By brianfrom78 on April 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was very excited to to get this one and at first was slightly disapointed being a fan of modern clean, sharp, minimal architecture that these guys who's homes the book is about are so famous for. But... I read it again. and again, and again, and have become addicted to this book. I've noticed so many things in other books and magazines that I remember from these pages and it's helped me reference these famous architects much better. This book has changed the way I feel about modern architecture and minimalism. I love the way the book shows how these masters really lived and what they chose to keep in their homes after years of living in them. The writing was great. Just enough to draw you in to the pictures and give some good meat and context. Please, make another one! This is by far my favorite architecture related photo style book. Thanks for this great book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paula Bauer on May 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful review of the creative spirit. Not too in depth but enough to enjoy the gifts of these creative and talented individuals. The sameness of 99.99% of houses of the present are enough to drive us into oblivion. These talented people show us how to express great ideas to rise above the norm. We had a family home next to Wharton Esherick's in Pennsylvania and though the outside was just a cut above normal, the inside was filled with creative work everywhere you rested your eyes....sublime.
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