Classic Modern: Midcentury Modern at Home

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, 2000 - Design - 207 pages
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Midcentury modern is back. From the American classics of Charles and Ray Eames to the Scandinavian elegance of Arne Jacobsen, nothing is hotter today than the endlessly inventive, sophisticated work created by modern architects and designers in the 1940s and 1950s.

This beautifully illustrated book is an unparalleled look at the revolutionary design of the midtwentieth century -- a period that today reigns unchallenged among style setters and a new generation of homeowners and collectors. Filled with stunning photographs of landmark midcentury houses and exuberant collections of furniture and decorative arts, Classic Modern tells us why, where, and how midcentury modern design came about. It also shows how people are living with the brilliant work of such timeless figures as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Richard Neutra, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi, and Marcel Breuer, not to mention the prodigious Eameses.

Showcasing the style's elegance, wit, and humanism, Deborah K. Dietsch introduces the basic tenets of midcentury modernism, walking us through the era's distinctive look and presenting influential homes by inventive European architects such as Neutra, Mies, Breuer, and Albert Frey. She then follows this dynamic style as it moved into mainstream American culture. When European sophistication met American invention, led by the charismatic polymaths Charles and Ray Eames, the result was dazzling. Recapturing the energy and optimism inherent at midcentury, the book concludes with a visit to outstanding collections that show how comfortably modern pieces fit into today's homes. And, for those who want to furnish their own residences with appropriate reproductions and the classic pieces still being made, an illustrated catalogue presents fifty items, from the Eameses' famed molded-plywood lounge chair and Nelson's whimsical marshmallow sofa to Saarinen's pedestal chairs and the sensuous ceramics of Eva Zeisel.

Classic Modern is a marvelous celebration of the twentieth century's most important contribution to design. Hipper than ever, midcentury modernism is here to stay -- an American classic.

Midcentury modern is back. From the American classics of Charles and Ray Eames to the Scandinavian elegance of Arne Jacobsen, nothing is hotter today than the endlessly inventive, sophisticated work created by modern architects and designers in the 1940s and 1950s.

This beautifully illustrated book is an unparalleled look at the revolutionary design of the midtwentieth century -- a period that today reigns unchallenged among style setters and a new generation of homeowners and collectors. Filled with stunning photographs of landmark midcentury houses and exuberant collections of furniture and decorative arts, Classic Modern tells us why, where, and how midcentury modern design came about. It also shows how people are living with the brilliant work of such timeless figures as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen, Richard Neutra, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi, and Marcel Breuer, not to mention the prodigious Eameses.

Showcasing the style's elegance, wit, and humanism, Deborah K. Dietsch introduces the basic tenets of midcentury modernism, walking us through the era's distinctive look and presenting influential homes by inventive European architects such as Neutra, Mies, Breuer, and Albert Frey. She then follows this dynamic style as it moved into mainstream American culture. When European sophistication met American invention, led by the charismatic polymaths Charles and Ray Eames, the result was dazzling. Recapturing the energy and optimism inherent at midcentury, the book concludes with a visit to outstanding collections that show how comfortably modern pieces fit into today's homes. And, for those who want to furnish their own residences with appropriate reproductions and the classic pieces still being made, an illustrated catalogue presents fifty items, from the Eameses' famed molded-plywood lounge chair and Nelson's whimsical marshmallow sofa to Saarinen's pedestal chairs and the sensuous ceramics of Eva Zeisel.

Classic Modern is a marvelous celebration of the twentieth century's most important contribution to design. Hipper than ever, midcentury modernism is here to stay -- an American classic.

 

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Contents

Modernism was disseminated into main the art of reduction 135
12
the mideentury look 24 throwing a curve
46
malleable materials
62
cheering colors urban sanctuary
74
missionary living
88
suburban frontier 106
106
Charles Goodman Alexandria city deco country classic 166
116
western pioneers 122 resources 200
172
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Deborah K. Dietsch is a writer and editor who specializes in art, architecture, and design. The past editor-in-chief of Architecture magazine, she has written for numerous publications, including The Washington Post and House Beautiful. She has been a guest curator at the National Building Museum and most recently was the art and architecture critic for the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A collector of midcentury modern furniture, she owns a 1953 house in Washington, D.C.

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