Making America Modern

Interior Design in the 1930s

Book Description

•The 200 photographs and renderings illustrate how designers working in the United States in the 1930s forged a quintessentially American modern interior design, using both traditional and innovative materials while incorporating influences as varied as art deco, the Bauhaus, the Viennese Secession, Shintoism, and streamlining

•A valuable resource for design professionals, historians, and enthusiasts, featuring detail on more than one hundred modern American interiors which are as exciting and relevant today as they were in the 1930s

•Interiors span the economic spectrum, from those created for wealthy patrons who embraced the modernist aesthetic, such as Walter Annenberg, William Paley, and Abby Rockefeller Milton, to those designed with affordable furniture and furnishings in mind, including private commissions and model rooms for design associations, world's fairs, museums, and manufacturers

•Entire model homes are profiled and detailed, highlighting new concepts in design and construction, such as Norman Bel Geddes' House of Tomorrow for Ladies Home Journal; Macy's Forward House; Frederick Kiesler's Space House for the Modernage showroom; Eleanor Le Maire's House of Planes for Abraham & Straus; and the model houses at the 1933 Chicago and 1939 New York World's Fairs

•The trajectory of American modern design during the 1930s was far from linear; it zigged and zagged with detours into stylised variants given catchy names by hopeful marketers, including Classic Modern, Chinese Modern, Swedish Modern, and Enduring Modern. Yet the designers covered in this book rejected the revivalism that had defined American design, forging something new - an American movement, defined by simplicity, practicality, and comfort, that embraced experimentation and variation in materials and style

A valuable resource for design professionals, historians, and enthusiasts, this book chronicles the evolution of modern interior design in the United States throughout the 1930s. With images and detailed descriptions, design historian Marilyn F. Friedman presents more than one hundred interiors by fifty designers and architects, including Donald Deskey, Paul T. Frankl, Percival Goodman, Frederick Kiesler, William Lescaze, William Muschenheim, Tommi Parzinger, Gilbert Rohde, Eugene Schoen, and Kem Weber; set designers Cedric Gibbons and Joseph Urban; and industrial designers Raymond Loewy, Walter Dorwin Teague, and Russel Wright. The book also highlights the work of women modernists who are practically unknown today, including Virginia Conner, Freda Diamond, Eleanor Le Maire, and Madame Majeska. This lively and important examination of the development of modernism comprehensively details, year by year, individual projects and their impact on modern interior design in America today.

About Friedman, Marilyn F.

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.