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The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum Hardcover – July 31, 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Guggenheim Museum (July 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892073853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892073856
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 8.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,921,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This should have looked so good. The cover has an intriguing and distinctive design on a predominantly upright shaped book and maybe this would be ideal to reveal the wonders of this remarkable building but unfortunately I thought the title had serious editorial flaws:

* You would think a book about a building and especially this building would have a decent floor plan but there is none. William Storrer's definitive The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion has computer generated plans of every Wright building. The spread in his book on the Guggenheim has a plan for the lower, ground and first levels. Someone should have asked permission to reproduce these.

*There are many letters from individuals and organizations reproduced in the book. The editors obviously thought they had some significance but twenty-five of them are reproduced just too small to read. I get the impression that the designers just used them as graphic fillers to liven up the pages.

* Although there is no overall floor plan of the Museum there are many plans of part of the building and colored sketches showing design ideas but like the letters these have been reproduced too small so they are useless.

*The book's designers have created a page grid and followed it by squeezing in photos, drawings, newspaper clippings and other graphic material without any regard to what the reader might want to see. This creates excessive amounts of white space throughout the pages and was particularly noticeable in the seventy-seven page Timeline section at the back of the book. Probably more than a third of each page is just white paper.
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Format: Hardcover
I spent about 45 minutes reading and browsing the book in the Guggenheim Museum reading room today and I'll probably end up buying it. The critique that pans it may have some merit for one with a designer's eye--or a theory of how design should look--but for most museum-goers, I think it's a splendid looking book with some stunning photographs of Wright's inventive architecture.
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