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Marcel Breuer, Architect: The Career and the Buildings Hardcover – November 1, 2001

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From UNESCO's Paris headquarters to the Hooper House II in Baltimore and New York's Whitney Museum, Marcel Breuer's buildings are "strongly tied to idioms of modern architecture pure forms of geometry, interlocking flat-roofed cubes and to the architectonic attributes of painting and sculpture of the modern movement." Isabelle Hyman (coauthor, Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity, and professor of fine arts at New York University), presents Marcel Breuer, Architect: The Career and the Buildings, a defense of his alternately maligned and revered architecture. Beginning as a furniture designer at the Bauhaus, Breuer widened his sights to include architecture in the 1920s and by mid-career, while teaching at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, was lauded for his buildings. Near the end of his 50-year career and since his death in 1981, reviews have been more mixed, and critics tend to look down on his architecture while celebrating his furniture design. Hyman persuasively argues for Breuer's eminence strictly as an architect. 295 illus., 35 in full color.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

From a scholar of Renaissance architecture and coauthor of Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity comes the first comprehensive treatment of the architecture of Marcel Breuer. Hyman makes a strong case that Breuer, a distinguished Bauhaus alumnus who is still revered for his classic modern furniture, should also be included on the short list of great 20th-century architects. The author doesn't underplay Breuer's weaknesses, especially the monotonous, overbearing projects of his late period, but she argues that the excellence of his total output is not yet fully appreciated. Divided into a biographical narrative and an impressively annotated catalog of buildings organized by type, this book is oversized, luxurious, and fully illustrated, though cross references between the two parts would have helped. The text, which is impeccably researched and bursting with insights, might be faulted only for somewhat dry, academic prose that at times loses itself in an untamed mass of details. An obvious purchase for academic and larger public libraries. David Soltesz, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 395 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; y First printing edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810942658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810942653
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,942,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Kim on December 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are two sections in this book. It begins with the biography which takes up about 130 pages and provides with valuable behind stories. The other portion of the book is mainly dedicated to the well researched catalogue of his built and unbuilt works. The book might be worth it for the stories and for the comprehensiveness. However, personally I was hoping to see more information on each project especially if for a well known work like Whitney museum on which two photos of facade, one of lobby and a section drawing cover the whole project. In most cases, a page or two, sometimes half a page is dedicated to each project or work, which gives good impression and starting point to learn of his works but not sufficient in itself. It would have been more helpful if new color photos and redrawn drawings are included, but as I said, this is a catalogue in order to lead to further research and provoke more interests in Marcel. It is unfortunate that I was actually looking for a book which would provide me with more detailed information on his buildings and projects in this book. I haven't had a chance to peek into newer publication by Vitra museum since I am located in Asia, and I do not have an excess to public libraries or book stores to research prior to purchases, but I wish I would have taken a look at that book. For anyone interested, Gustavo Gili's 2G issue on Marcel's houses provide excellent documentation on some of his houses in America with new attractive color photos and drawings, and I want to see something like that on his larger buildings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Half of this book is just text with large letters!, the other half is about his work but the information is very poor, sometimes 1 project is half a page and 1 photo with no blueprint, if you get lucky you will get 1 photo and 1 blueprint, there's a lot more information about his houses in 2G marcel breuer edition, but that is out of stock from some years now, don't buy this book if you care about the projects, if you like biographies and some info about his projects this is for you.
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By A Customer on December 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In his six-decade career as a Bauhaus teacher and furniture maker, as a collaborator with Walter Gropius in London and Cambridge, and as head of his own office in New York, Breuer deserves to be ranked with the great 20th-century formgivers. And yet he never did achieve the fame of Mies, though he was far more prolific and humane, or of Gropius, though he was a much better designer. If he is remembered today it is for the Whitney Museum in Manhattan, the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, and his modern houses in New England; however, as this comprehensive survey shows, there was much more-mostly forgotten and quite out of fashion. This eloquent, handsomely illustrated volume may help to shift public perceptions and stir admiration for the architect's tough, sculptural take on modernism.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the reference book on Breuer. For those who are interested to get a full scope of this under-rated architect's work, this is the book to buy. It includes a survey in phases of his career, along with a catalogue raisonne of his built and unbuilt work. The projects speak nostalgically, of that period in the 50's and 60's when good design went beyond the jargon of 'blobs' and 'smooth surfaces' and empty forms. Granted, Breuer was not immune from committing some major mistakes, such as the UNESCO or other institutional buildings that turned modernism into a bad name, but this should not discredit his whole oeuvre. This book corrects some of these misconceptions. Hyman has done a wonderful job.
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