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Making America Modern: Interior Design in the 1930s

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Making America Modern: Interior Design in the 1930s

About the Author

Marilyn F. Friedman is a design historian whose work focuses on the development and popularisation of modern design across America during the 1920s and 30s. Born and educated in New York, Friedman studied design history at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, earning a Master of Arts degree, which led to her first publication, Selling Good Design: Promoting the Early Modern Interior (Rizzoli, 2003). She regularly contributes articles to design journals and museum publications and has lectured throughout the United States, and in England and Canada.

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A valuable resource for design professionals, historians, and enthusiasts, this book chronicles the development of modern interior design in the United States in the 1930s. With detailed descriptions and more than 200 archival images, design historian Marilyn F. Friedman presents more than 100 interiors by 50 designers and architects, including work by design luminaries Donald Deskey, Paul T. Frankl, Cedric Gibbons, William Lescaze, Tommi Parzinger, Eugene Schoen, Walter Dorwin Teague, Joseph Urban, and Kem Weber. Friedman also draws attention to lesser known male and female designers, including Joseph Aronson, Virginia Conner, Freda Diamond, Robert Heller, and Eleanor Le Maire. Interiors include private commissions, model homes, and exhibition displays that spanned the economic spectrum, from those created for wealthy patrons, such as Walter Annenberg and Abby Rockefeller Milton, to those designed with affordability in mind.

The designers of the 1930s had a determination to forge a contemporary style, rejecting the revivalism that had defined American design during the nineteenth century. They drew their inspiration from diverse sources, such as Art Deco, the Bauhaus, the Viennese Secession, Shintoism, and streamlining, and they embraced new concepts in construction, materials, and style. Over the course of the decade they developed a framework for modern interior design that was faithful to core principles of simplicity, practicality and comfort, a conceptual framework that continues to define American modern interior design today.
Details
  • Hardcover
  • 8 1/2" x 10 1/2"
  • 240 pages
  • Bauer and Dean, 2018
  • ISBN-10: 0983863237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983863236
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