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Essential Modernism: Design between the World Wars

Essential Modernism: Design between the World Wars

By Dominic Bradbury

“Bradbury has pulled together the diverse strains of modernism in a readable and visually attractive package covering the most influential designers and their iconic works. A useful addition to every design historian’s bookshelf.”—Judith Gura, author of Postmodern Design Complete

“The 1920s, ‘30s, and early ‘40s was that essential period where disparate Modern art, architecture, and design movements intermixed, producing countless canonical works and enduring legacies. This massive survey drinks from that fire-hose of early 20th century history, highlighting countless examples of Modern furniture, lighting, ceramics/glass, industrial design, and graphic design, with a healthy dose of architecture (primarily houses) thrown into the mix.”—Metropolis Magazine

“Chapters devoted to furniture, lighting, ceramics and glass, industrial and product design, and graphics and posters present sumptuous illustrations and brief introductions to the achievements of many. . . . This is eye candy for the design buff, ideal for browsing on a cold winter’s day.”—Ann Landi, Wall Street Journal

This wide-ranging survey showcases and analyzes the work of dozens of Modernist designers, from those who established the International Style in the 1920s and ‘30s through the groundbreaking practitioners of the mid-1940s. Modernism, with its powerful aesthetic and compelling philosophical framework, is the twentieth century’s most defining movement in design and the applied arts. International architects and designers such as Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer, Eileen Gray, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright revolutionized the built world and how we live in it. Their work rejected historical precedents, prioritizing function over tradition, and their experimentation with new forms, materials, and techniques transformed our living spaces and lifestyles and fundamentally changed the way we think about design.

This lively and accessible volume includes sections on furniture, lighting, ceramics and glass, industrial and product design, graphic design and posters, houses and interiors, as well as profiles of more than seventy influential creators. The encyclopedic scope facilitates unexpected connections and offers new insights into the movement. Complete with essays by accomplished scholars and subject specialists, over 600 illustrations, and an illustrated A to Z of designers, architects, and manufacturers, this book is unparalleled and unprecedented in scope. Essential Modernism is an indispensable resource for scholars and students as well as for the designer’s studio, the collector’s desk, and the enthusiast’s library.

Hardcover
480 pages
Yale University Press, 2018
9.8 x 1.7 x 12.4 inches
ISBN 9780300238341
Modern Design

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