THE MODERN HOUSE IN AMERICA
James Ford and Katherine Morrow Ford: THE MODERN HOUSE IN AMERICA. New York: Architectural Book Publishing Company, 1940. Fifth printing from 1946. Maroon cloth stamped in white. Photographically printed dust jacket. 134 pp. 322 black and white photographs and illustrations. Cover photograph by Ezra Stoller. Jacket spine sun-faded [as usual] and lightly rubbed. Vintage gift inscription on front free endpaper. Interior unmarked and very clean. An exceptional copy of a book rarely found in collectible condition --a nearly fine copy in a very good or better dust jacket.
8.75 x 11 hardcover book with 134 pages and 194 black and white photographs and 128 illustrations of residences designed by 44 architects. Each residence is represented by multiple black and white images and floorplans, as well as notes concerning the site, construction, exterior, interior, cost, as well as statements from the architects. This book highlights the primary examples of the International style in terms of residential architecture in the United States during the 1930s. One of THE classic pictorial records of modern residential architecture in Pre-war America.
This book spotlights some of the more buget-conscious, lesser-known structures of the period, thus supplying a more unique perspective than similar volumes that tend to showcase the iconic residences. In terms of decor, there is none of that Chippendale jive here-- every residential interior is decked out in full prewar, streamlined glory.
Includes statements by Pietro Belluschi, Gardner Dailey, Kenneth Day, William Deknatel, Harwell Hamilton Harris, C. F. Hegner, George Homsey, George Fred Keck, Herbert Lippmann, William Muschenheim, R. M. Schindler, George Patton Simonds, Raphael Soriano, Hugh Stubbins, Paul Thiry & Alban Shay, and Stanley Vallet.
Architects whose work appears in this volume include: Gregory Ain, Pietro Belluschi, Walter Bognar, Marcel Breuer, Gardner Dailey, Robert Davison, William Deknatel, Kenneth Day, Alden Dow, Roscoe DeWitt, Albert Frey, Michael Goodman, Philip Goodwin, Walter Gropius, Harwell Hamilton Harris, C. F. Hegner, George Homsey, George Howe, George Fred Keck, Carl Koch, A. Lawrence Kocher, Le Corbusier, William Lescaze, Herbert Lippmann, William Muschenheim, Clarence Mayhem, Richard Morse, Richard Neutra, G. Holmes Perkins, Peter Pfisterer, R. M. Schindler, George Patton Simonds, Alban Shay, Raphael Soriano, Morris Sanders, Edward Durell Stone, Hugh Stubbins, Paul Thiry, Frank lloyd Wright, William Wilson Wurster, and others.
Photographers include Hedrich-Blessing, Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller and others.
Philip Johnson, Alfred H. Barr, Jr. and Henry-Russell Hitchcock codified their observations about modern architecture in the 1932 landmark Museum of Modern Art show "The International Style: Architecture Since 1922." The show was profoundly influential and is seen as the introduction of modern architecture and architects Le Corbusier, Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe to the American public. The exhibition was also notable for a controversy: architect Frank Lloyd Wright withdrew his entries in pique that he was not more prominently featured.
As critic Pater Blake has stated, the importance of this show in shaping American architecture in the century "cannot be overstated." In the book accompanying the show, coauthored with Hitchcock, Johnson argued that the new modern style maintained three formal principles: 1. an emphasis on architectural volume over mass (planes rather than solidity) 2. a rejection of symmetry and 3. rejection of applied decoration. The definition of the movement as a "style" with distinct formal characteristics has been seen by some critics as downplaying the social and political bent that many of the European practitioners shared. The Fords expand on this premise in THE MODERN HOUSE IN AMERICA, as well as showcasing the best examples of the Americanized International Style Residential Architecture built before 1940.
A sample spread from this volume can be viewed here.
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