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Tulsa Art Deco Hardcover – November 15, 2001
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About the Author
Carol Newton Gambino, a writer who resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is former senior editor of Oklahoma Home and Garden magazine. She organized three years of research by members of the Junior League of Tulsa to prepare the text for the 1980 edition of Tulsa Art Deco. David Halpern, a professional photographer instructor for more than 25 years has exhibited and published widely throughout his career. He is a Life Member of the American Society of Media Photographs.
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Top customer reviews
Two decades later this new edition of "Tulsa Art Deco" is built on that original. Written by Carol Newton Gambino, it has new photography and the application of new technology in the digital enhancement and refinement of original photographs by David Halpern . It was designed by Carol Haralson and published by the Tulsa Foundation of Architecture.
Towns grow, grow more, and eventually become cities. Only a few cities, either through a built environment or as the product of a gifted city planning, achieve character, which is to say, have a created theme and identity. The city of Tulsa, Oklahoma is one of those.
Originally a trading post for the Creek Indian nation "Tulsey town" had a railroad and post office by 1879. The Glenn Pool oil field was discovered in 1905 and was followed by more oil field discoveries and expanding oil field companies and oil-service businesses. In the years between 1915 and 1930 Tulsa became "Oil Capital of the World." A quicksilver combination of money - lots of it - breath-taking business expansion, upscale tastes, and the need for new buildings and building followed. The spirit of the 1920s was Art Deco - original, unique, and true to its age. The two matched and the on-going stream in Art Deco construction continued through the 1930s and 1940s and into the 1950s.
Eventually, Tulsa's corp of millionaires thinned and moved on and activities in the oil fields slowed - Glenn Pool and its successors played out. The city survived by its wits, attracting other new business. It continues to survive and to re-invent itself. But its memory is justifiably proud. As a city it has done something out of the ordinary; Art Deco expressed in the city's built environment is its theme and accomplishment.
I am an antiquarian, and I love this book. Many of its pictures show gorgeous things - buildings, homes, churches, facades. fragments. The photography and layout is good. And the book is careful. The text moves in a straight line and is informed by the developments within Art Deco itself. It narrates the history of Art Deco in the city, intending to include everything. It is a work to be proud of: there is a rich heritage to display, and the book is a treasure for architecture historians and for all of us who enjoy Art Deco and the vintage spirit.
The second and smaller audience for this book are people who love the Art Deco aesthetic. This audience will be a little less pleased with the book. The photos are good but they are not the high quality, lovingly photographed images that enthusiasts expect. The text is solid but not up to the same academic level as one finds in high end art books.
I am an Art Deco enthusiast who visited Tulsa on business. "Tulsa Art Deco" was a great local guide book and made my trip much more interesting. In that context, this book was a good purchase.