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Books and materials relating to the applied arts after WWI; their use in architecture & interior design; the design of handworked and manufactured objects including: ceramics, metalwork, wood, jewelry, textiles, glass, furniture, graphics, clocks & watches, toys, leather, etc.

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Twentieth-Century Furniture Design, Taschen, 1991, first American edition, lg 4to (9.5" x 11.75"), SB, color photo illus wraps w/ red & white titles, VG+ / none. Light general wear.

255 pp, profuse illustration in color & b/w. An excellent survey of furniture design with well-informed text. Includes a small section of biographies at rear.

A sample from the prologue:

"A history of twentieth-century design will repeatedly find itself recognizing traditions and identifying revivals, reeditions and new discoveries which are based on models dating far back into the nineteenth century. One cannot avoid realizing that many designs which we are tempted to regard as ‘original’ today were actually anticipated to some extent during the nineteenth century. There seem to be two main factors which had a determining influence: firstly, the simple designs of the Biedermeier period or related movements in other countries, and secondly, the effects of industrialization on our sense of style and on the use of materials. Whereas the progressive furniture designs typical especially of the Viennese Biedermeier style were soon forgotten and only rediscovered around 1900, the concept of industrial production increasingly came to influence development. It is a well-known fact that the mechanization which accompanied it was carefully concealed behind a pseudo-historical exterior. This undoubtedly detracted from the admirable ingenuity which was a characteristic of the nineteenth century. But then again, not everything which was thought up was actually of any use.

From the rear:

"Designers of genius. Henry van de Velde, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Josef Hoffmann. Le Corbusier and Emile Jacques Ruhlmann. Charles Eames, Ettore Sottsass and Philippe Starck. At their hands furniture came into its own. The twentieth century transformed interiors into sets--and on those sets the creations of these designers played the star parts. This is a book about status symbols that express the character of their owners but, more than that, define the spirit of the age."    [Book ID # 1714]


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