The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts 25: The American Hotel, Volume 25

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Molly W. Berger
MIT Press, Jun 1, 2005 - Architecture - 315 pages
First Prize winner in the scholarly journals category of the American Association of Museums (AAM) publication competition for institutions with budgets over $500,000

This latest volume of the groundbreaking Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts explores the material, social, and cultural world of the large American hotel. Ten richly illustrated essays look at the architects, designers, and social forces that created this distinctive and complex urban institution, from Gilded Age New York to 1950s Miami Beach.

Broadly imagined and yet cohesively focused, the essays examine such major historical processes as consumption and modernism, and race, class, and gender. Topics include the lavish New York apartment hotels of Schultze and Weaver (the architects of the Waldorf-Astoria); the connection between hotels and mansions in the "rich man's city" of Gilded Age New York; the "bodacious" interior designs of Dorothy Draper; the flamboyant Miami Beach fantasies of Morris Lapidus; Henry Flagler's St. Augustine resorts; Atlantic City's old Traymore hotel; the social world of hotel chambermaids and clerks; the parallel world of African-American "pleasure travelers"; the trend toward efficiency and standardization; and the capitalist narrative of early-twentieth-century urban hotel demolitions.

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About the author (2005)

Molly W. Berger is an instructor of history and Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

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