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Designing Modernity: The Arts of Reform and Persuasion 1885-1945. Edited by Wendy Kaplan.

Modern Design].

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ISBN 10: 0500237069 / ISBN 13: 9780500237069
Published by Thames & Hudson, London, 1995
From Gregor Rare Books (Langley, WA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

A Near Fine copy in a Near Fine unclipped dust jacket. This exhibition catalogue contains over 400 illustrations (300 in color) examining the social, political and aesthetic significance of objects produced between 1885 and 1945. Documented here are the ideas and designs that trace the course of Western civilization and the contributions of design to the monumentous changes that have changed our lives. Topics explored include Romantic Nationalism in Design, Decorative Arts in Amsterdam, Forging Modern Italy, Design in Fascist Italy and Design in Inter-War Germany. Catalog Coffee. Bookseller Inventory # 22186

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Designing Modernity: The Arts of Reform and ...

Publisher: Thames & Hudson, London

Publication Date: 1995

Edition: First Printing of the First UK Edition

About this title


One of the critical formative influences of the 20th century has been the response to modernity. In the struggle between modern and anti-modern forces, between progressiveness and reaction, design has been a key element in the service of reform movements and as an agent of propaganda. Written by leading social and art historians, this book is published to accompany a travelling exhibition organized by the Wolfsonian, a Miami institution dedicated to examining the social, political and aesthetic significance of objects produced between 1885 and 1945. With hundreds of photographs of the Wolfsonian's collection of objects - posters, books, furniture and ceramics - it shows how design has been a vital tool in acclimatizing people to life in the modern world, examining the different ways that political, industrial and cultural leaders throughout Europe and America have used design in their programmes of reform, in their efforts to shape public opinion and the forge a sense of national identity.

From Library Journal:

Various arts are featured in this spectacular catalog commemorating the inaugural exhibition of the Wolfsonian in Miami Beach, the parent institution to The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts (Magazines, LJ 5/1/93). This beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched volume focuses on the three reactive phases to modernity as reflected through nationalistic design. The first section, "Confronting Modernity, 1890-1920," relates to the ambivalence toward industrialization and the changes it influenced. The second section, "Celebrating Modernity, 1920-1940," focuses on the domesticating influences and reactions to modernity during the interwar years in Europe and its rise as a cultural force. The third section, "Manipulating Modernity: Political Persuasion," emphasizes the exploitation of modern design by governments during the rise of Italian Fascism, the German interwar period and the Third Reich, and the American New Deal. The objects in this exhibition come from the extensive private collection of artifacts, rare books, ephemera, drawings, posters, and prints of Mitchell Wolfson Jr. A complete checklist of the exhibition is included. Enthusiastically recommended for decorative arts as well as political and social history collections.
Stephen Allan Patrick, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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