Designing Modern America: Broadway to Main Street

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2005 - Design - 320 pages
0 Reviews
From the 1920s through the 1950s, two individuals, Joseph Urban and Norman Bel Geddes, did more, by far, to create the image of “America” and make it synonymous with modernity than any of their contemporaries. Urban and Bel Geddes were leading Broadway stage designers and directors who turned their prodigious talents to other projects, becoming mavericks first in industrial design and then in commercial design, fashion, architecture, and more. The two men gave shape to the most quintessential symbols of the modern American lifestyle, including movies, cars, department stores, and nightclubs, along with private homes, kitchens, stoves, fridges, magazines, and numerous household furnishings.

Illustrated with more than 130 photographs of their influential designs, this book tells the engrossing story of Urban and Bel Geddes. Christopher Innes shows how these two men with a background in theater lent dramatic flair to everything they designed and how this theatricality gave the distinctive modernity they created such wide appeal. If the American lifestyle has been much imitated across the globe over the past fifty years, says Innes, it is due in large measure to the designs of Urban and Bel Geddes. Together they were responsible for creating what has been called the “Golden Age” of American culture.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Styling for the Modern Age I
2
Theatrical Fashions
38
Stage and Screen
60
Lifestyle Begins in the Kitchen
234
Selling Modernity
260
Notes
295
Index
312
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Christopher Innes is Canada Research Chair in Performance & Culture at York University, Toronto.

Bibliographic information