Author(s): Todd Merrill
An expanded edition of the successful Modern Americana, this new book will bring a new audience to some of the most American-designed and produced furniture in design history.
In the current world of twentieth-century design collecting, the trend has shifted away from accessible, mass-manufactured modernist furniture Like Charles Eames and George Nelson and toward designs that were custom-made or produced in very limited editions, with emphasis on American studio design of the 1940s to the 1990s. In contrast to the mass-produced mid-century furniture by Knoll and Herman Miller, American studio designs of the same period focused on novel forms and exquisite craftsmanship. Ranging from the organic shapes of George Nakashima and Vladimir Kagan to metalworks by Paul Evans, these limited production designs were highly sought after in their days by original tastemakers and movie stars. In the last decade, a revival for these rare designs began with connoisseurs such as Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs. This is an expanded edition of Modern Americana, the first full survey of the designs of this prolific but forgotten period, bringing to life again the works of Samuel Marx, Billy Haines, Wendell Castle, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Karl Springer, James Mont, J.B. Blunk, Michael Coffey, Wharton Esherick, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Sam Maloof, Jack Rogers Hopkins, Paul Evans & Philip Lloyd Powell, Vladimir Kagan, George Nakashima, Silas Seandel, Charles Hollis Jones, Philip & Kevin LaVerne, Tommi Parzinger, Harvey Probber, Edward Wormley, John Dickinson, Arthur Elrod, and Paul Laszlo. New chapters to this edition include the work of forgotten women designers of the era; high-end furniture produced for iconic retailers such as Bonwit Teller and Bloomingdales; and new materials explored by West Coast designers.