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Norman Bel Geddes Designs America Hardcover – November 1, 2012


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Norman Bel Geddes Designs America + Designing Tomorrow: America's World's Fairs of the 1930s (National Building Museum) + Fair World: A History of World's Fairs and Expositions from London to Shanghai 1851-2010
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (November 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419702998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419702990
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 10.2 x 12.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donald Albrecht is the curator of architecture and design at the Museum of the City of New York, as well as an independent curator. He lives in New York.

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on October 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Most people interested in design will be familiar with a lot of Norman Bel Geddes work but I didn't realize how wide ranging his creativity was. For example I had no idea that one commission, in 1940, was a redesign of Crowell-Collier's Woman's Home Journal, The American and Colliers (not a success it seems) or that he designed nearly a hundred Broadway plays and operas or that after the Miami nightclub Copa City was destroyed by fire in 1948 the owner, a NBG fan, asked him to design the interior.

Page after page in this sumptuous book reveal just how creative and visionary Geddes was. Design historian Donald Albrecht, in his intro, says that he was the founding father of the first generation of designers like Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss and Russell Wright and despite the Depression year's businesses and manufacturers found that using style and design was good for sales. Geddes though wanted to go further than mere commercialism. In 1937 the J Walter Thompson agency asked him to create an ad campaign for Shell and this produced the City of Tomorrow, a huge model of a metropolis of the future which was photographed for the ads.

The work for Shell was the forerunner of the GM Futurama pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair, probably Geddes's most famous work and pinnacle of his career. Five million people visited Futurama to see the main attraction: a sixteen minute motorized tour of the largest animated model ever built showing the cities and the countryside in the future (actually 1960). Futurama obviously has its own chapter in the book and a portfolio of photos.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Loomey on March 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Did not know enough about this very influential designer. Saw the show in Austin, the book is a wonderful compliment.
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