Livable Modernism: Interior Decorating and Design During the Great Depression

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $20.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 55%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $20.00   
  • New (6) from $36.59   
  • Used (5) from $20.00   

Overview

During the years of the Great Depression in America, modernist designers developed products and lifestyle concepts intended for middle-class—not elite—consumers. In this remarkable book, Kristina Wilson coins the term “livable modernism” to describe this school of design.

Livable modernism combined International Style functional efficiency and sophistication with a respect for consumers’ desires for physical and psychological comfort. Wilson offers a new view of many popular designs for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms of the 1930s and investigates the remarkable marketing savvy of the furniture and decorative arts companies of the day. As the first study of the advertising and retailing of modern design during the Depression years, Livable Modernism also features an extensive array of vintage advertisements from such popular magazines as House Beautiful and Ladies’ Home Journal.

Engagingly written and handsomely designed, Livable Modernism is an essential book for anyone interested in modern furniture and decorative arts. The author demonstrates that the work of these designers—including Russel Wright, Donald Deskey, and Gilbert Rohde—paved the way for Charles and Ray Eames and other post-World War II designers, and that the importance of their philosophies, innovations, and influence has until now been underappreciated.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Wilson (art history, Clark Univ.) here explains how modernist design, particularly the International Style, was revamped to appeal to 20th-century Depression-era middle-class consumers. As she notes, livable modernism provided "greater warmth and personality than the cool functionalism of the International Style aesthetic." Hoping to draw on middle-class nostalgia for a better past, the popular Colonial Revival style was combined with the sleek look of modernism to create what Wilson calls livable modernism. Furniture and decorative accessories of the time were designed and manufactured to appeal to both desires. The focus of this book is on living room, dining room, and bedroom decor. Wilson's use of period photographs and advertisements along with contemporary color photographs of items from the Yale University Art Gallery collection further illuminate her exposition. An excellent purchase for collections whose interest lies in 20th-century design, sociology, or history. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300104752
  • Publisher: Yale University Art Gallery
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 1,187,625
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Kristina Wilson is assistant professor of art history at Clark University. She formerly served as Marcia Brady Tucker Curatorial Fellow in American Decorative Arts at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction : livable modernism 3
1 Cozy modernism for the living room 25
2 Modern modes of dining 59
3 Privacy and self-expression in the bedroom 101
Conclusion : the legacy of livable modernism 134
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)