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The Machine Age in America: 1918-1941 Hardcover – October 22, 1986
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From Publishers Weekly
The Brooklyn Museum of Art presents a reprint of the catalogue to its benchmark 1986 exhibit The Machine Age in America: 1918-1941 by scholars Richard Guy Wilson, Dianne H. Pilgrim and Dickran Tashjian. Following on the culture-crit assertion that "the machine in all its many manifestations was the defining force in America during the years between the two great wars," the authors trace the era's aesthetic qualities in Buicks, Frank Lloyd Wright houses, Oskar J. Hansen's Ayn Randian sculpture Winged Figures of the Republic on the Hoover Dam, Berenice Abbott's photographs of steamships, Electrolux vacuum cleaners, Russell Wright's seminal flatware and furniture designs, Joseph Stella's vivid abstractions of the Brooklyn Bridge, and a host of other art works and utilitarian objects. Pop and material culture lovers will swoon over the 410 illustrations (55 in full color) and the erudite essays.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This sumptuous large-format book is published in conjunction with a current exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Far more than just a catalog, the book studies in depth the reciprocal influences of American technology and art. In this context, several chapters discuss subjects such as industrial machines, landscapes, transportation, and architecture. Attention is given to designers such as Loewy and Bel Geddes who considered industrial design as a new art form. The machine age was also an inspiration for both abstract and realistic artists. Liberally illustrated, with photographs and reproductions on almost every page. Recommended for all art and design collections. Frank Davidoff, formerly with CBS Broadcast Group, New York
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Moderne/Streamline design in America you'll find it mentioned. I would consider it the definitive book about the subject. Jeffrey Meikle's Twentieth Century Limited: Industrial Design in America, 1925-1939; Second Edition, with a New Preface and Enhanced Photographs (American Civilization) and Donald Bush's The Streamlined Decade are both excellent books about the thirties design but I think the strength of `The Machine Age' is the breadth of coverage.
Architecture, vehicles and speed lines on household products were the visual manifestations of streamline for most people at the time but the authors go further to consider the style in an artistic, social and aesthetic context. Dickran Tashjian's chapter `Engineering a New Art' sums it up beautifully.
Another reason I've always enjoyed the book is because it looks so good. With more than four hundred illustrations printed (in 175dpi) on good paper in a design that nicely reflects the subject. From cover to cover Streamline lives on.
To complement The Machine Age have a look at these two wonderful books: American Modern, 1925-1940: Design for a New Age and American Streamlined Design: The World of Tomorrow. Both are essentially visual books that concentrate on products using stunning photography.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.