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Designing modern America : Broadway to Main Street / Christopher Innes.



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Innes, Christopher, 1941-
Publication date:
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2005.
  • Book
  • xiv, 320 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 295-311) and index.
  • Styling for the modern age
  • Egos at work
  • Theatrical fashions
  • Stage and screen
  • Society scenery
  • A century of progress
  • Riding into the future
  • The world of tomorrow
  • Car culture
  • Street scenes
  • Reaching for the sky
  • Suburban heaven
  • Lifestyle begins in the kitchen
  • Selling modernity
  • Afterword: then and now.
Publisher's Summary:
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. Christopher Innes shows how these two men with a background in theatre 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.
(source: Nielsen Book Data)

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