Not only am I a design and decorating enthusiast, but I am also a major history lover, so the book I just finished- New York Mid-Century -was absolutely perfect for me. It was about creative professions like interior design, architecture, art, and dance, in New York City during the span of two decades known as the mid-century: 1945-1965. It was fascinating to read about the struggle that so many people in these creative fields had trying to figure out what art and design should look like in a post-war America (and specifically in New York City). Mid-Century architecture is so wildly popular now that it was very eye-opening for me to read about how many architects struggled at first to figure out what the new "look" should be once the opulence of the gilded age was over.
It was also really interesting for me to learn about how the architecture ended up inspiring the more streamlined furniture designs of the period, since the more clean-lined interiors needed more simplified furniture to fill them. And I'd had no idea of the role that the Museum of Modern Art played in making the new furniture designs visible to the public, since this was the time period where for the first time home design was becoming accessible to everyone. Most of us are so obsessed with mid-century modern furniture these days, so I enjoyed learning the background of that style.
One of my favorite things about this book was all the photography- I loved getting to see what Mid-Century New York looked like.
I loved the photos of all the art. I'm sure I'll never have the money to actually own something from Andy Warhol, but thanks to all the photographs of them in this book, I can feel like I sort of do. Along with tons of other art from several artists from that time.
Speaking of which, another thing I loved was getting to learn more about people who's names are now so iconic like Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko, and Charles & Ray Eames.
I learned a lot from reading this, which ultimately is my favorite thing about it. If you like the arts and you enjoy history, this book is the perfect combo of both.
Oh and bonus- it's a good looking book. I always get super excited to see what's under the book jacket, and this one's cover did not disappoint.
It might be hard to tell in photos but those triangles are raised so the cover design has a really cool, three dimensional look.
I always love a book that's just as good for displaying as it is for reading.
Find a list of booksellers where you can order New York Mid-Century at Vendomepress.com.
*I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.