The Decoration of Houses (Classical America Series in Art & Architecture)

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9780393038859: The Decoration of Houses (Classical America Series in Art & Architecture)

The original text of The Decoration of Houses continues without revision as an authentic classic, perhaps the most important book of its kind ever published. Its carefully reasoned chapters on such aspects of house interiors as fireplaces, ceilings and floors, halls and stairs, are of the greatest value to professionals and serious amateurs concerned with interiors.This expanded edition includes an introduction by Henry Hope Reed and three critical essays by John Barrington Bayley, William A. Coles, and Alvin Holm, AIA. Additions to the album of renderings and photographs of modern and contemporary work in the tradition of Wharton and Codman include a number of important works done in the last decade or so. A portfolio of color plates new to the expanded edition offers the work of such accomplished photographers as Bill Ray and Anne Day.

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About the Author:

Edith Wharton (1862-1937), American novelist and short-story writer, was born in New York City. Strongly influenced by Henry James, she is best known for her subtle and su-perbly crafted studies of the tragedies and ironies in the lives of members of middle-class and artistocratic New York soci-ety in the the nineteenth century. She was educated in New York and Europe, and married Edward Wharton, a Boston banker, in 1885. When her husband became mentally ill, she cared for him until 1913, when she settled permanently in France and divorced him. Among her best and most characteristic works are The House of Mirth (1905) and The Age of Innocence (1920), for which she received a Pultizer prize.

Review:

Edith Wharton offers timeless design advice by Annie Groer

If novelist Edith Wharton and architect Ogden Codman Jr. had published their scholarly book, "The Decoration of Houses," today rather than 110 years ago, no doubt it would be a sumptuous coffee-table tome filled with glossy colored photos. But black-and-white sufficed nicely for this influential classic about architecture and design, which has just been faithfully reproduced from the original (Rizzoli and the Mount Press, $35). -- The Salinas Californian - Salinas Ca. May 29, 2007

"Rizzoli has returned this classic 1897 work to print in a beautifully produced facsimile edition, but despite the period charm, it deserves to be read as something more than a period piece." -- Art & Antiques

Here's a trivia question: What was Edith Wharton's first book? If you said The Decoration of Houses, you get a gold star.Originally published in 1897, Wharton's best-selling dissertation on interior esign was reproduced and re-released last month by Rizzoli. What a beautiful, if anachronistic, volume. I love Wharton's keen insights... A must for fans of Edith Wharton and Victoriana. -- Palm Beach Illustrated, June 2007

Most fans of lean, mid-century modern sofas, bark cloth draperies, and kidney-shaped coffee tables grew up with French provincial bedroom sets or baggy shabby-chic slipcovers As soon as children know enough to loathe their parents' terrible taste, they long for something completely different... The 1897 interior design classic The Decoration of Houses, now available from Rizzoli as a handsome facsimile, works on the same principle. Coauthors Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman Jr. skewered the design they'd inherited with the convivial savagery of confidants talking trash about other peoples' taste, which indeed they were. -- Preservation March April 2007

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