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California Design, 1930--1965: "Living in a Modern Way" (MIT Press) Hardcover – September 16, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book beautifully documents how climate, immigration, and industry influenced California's modern design aesthetic.

(Publishers Weekly)

…[F]ascinating stuff, rich with detail and new discoveries.

(NZ House and Garden)

About the Author

Wendy Kaplan is Department Head and Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (September 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262016079
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262016070
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.4 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the third book of an exhibition on Californian design and the second from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They had a show in 2001 which looked at design from 1900 -2000, this latest title narrows it down to 1930 -1965. Orange County Museum of Art, in 2007, called their exhibition 'Birth of the Cool: design at mid-century'.

All three books are heavily illustrated and in the case of 'Birth of the Cool' and 'California Design' quite a lot of the text and images overlap though the MIT published one is a far better production (Cool was rather sloppily produced with missing captions, page numbers and a poor use of pictures).

The ten chapters in this book explore creativity in California, though that essentially means Los Angeles and San Francisco. Wendy Kaplan (the book's editor) sums it all up very succinctly in the Introduction: Living in a modern way. I enjoyed reading Nicholas Olsberg who makes home architecture come alive with his essay and Bill Stern suggests some good points regarding the spin-off from the wartime economy that was centered in California. Other essays look at furniture, ceramics, fabrics, fashion, jewelry and the personalities involved. The weakest essay I thought was from Jeremy Aynsley who looked at graphic design; it was more a name-check listing of graphic and publication designers rather than analysis.

'Living in a modern way' is a quite thorough overview of Golden State creativity and presented in a well-designed book. The exhibition checklist in the back pages lists 357 items and the book has 350 of them (with 250 in color) oddly there is no bibliography. The other two books I've mentioned:
...Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
....another one of those great "reference" books that has enticing book cover art. I won't know the full enjoyment of owning this book for possibly a few years as I will go back and forth to it more than once.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I went to the the exhibit and found it to be fascinating. To keep those wonderful memories I had to purchase the book, which has beautiful images and is well written. My favorite chapter in the book is about JOSEPH EICHLER and his homes!
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Format: Hardcover
I own a custom reproduction of 1953 Bruce Hill Candelabra, made with permission from Peter Pepper by The Blacksmith Chick.

It is supposedly listed in this book, can anyone who owns it let me know if it is? Thanks!

I asked her to make it for me a few years ago, and she agreed once I got permission because it fascinated her... and I absolutely love it. It's in three pieces, the bracket, with inset stabilizer for level installation, and a locking mechanism in front. I doubt we'll ever see another.

Original design: (...)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Large indepth book. I was unable to make it to the exhibit in CA, but I'm glad I have this at least.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is in good condition just as description. I've been looking for this book for a reasonable price for a while and absolutely love it.
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