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Alice T. Friedman
Alice T. Friedman is Grace Slack McNeil Professor of the History of American Art and Director of the McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Friedman, Alice T.
Friedman, Alice T.
United States of America
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Description: Women and the Making of the Modern House: A Social and Architectural History
In this groundbreaking book, Alice T. Friedman investigates how women patrons of architecture were essential catalysts for innovation in domestic architectural design. By looking at such iconic houses as Hollyhock House (Frank Lloyd Wright), the Truus Schröder House (Gerrit Rietveld), the Edith Farnsworth House (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), the Constance Perkins House (Richard Neutra), and the Vanna Venturi House (Robert Venturi), she explores the challenges that unconventional attitudes and ways of life presented to architectural thinking—and to the architects themselves. Detailed portraits—fashioned from personal letters, diaries, office records, photo albums, and interviews—of the clients and architects reveal the private passions and struggles that women and men of talent and creativity brought to these projects, and suggest the rich cultural and artistic context in which each house was created. The works considered are thus brought to life through the people who commissioned, designed, and lived in them.
Print publication date April 2007 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300117899
EISBN 9780300230949
Illustrations 157
Print Status in print
Description: American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture
The sleek lines and gleaming facades of the architecture of the late 1940s and 1950s reflect a culture fascinated by the promise of the Jet Age. Buildings like Eero Saarinen's TWA Terminal at JFK Airport and Philip Johnson's Four Seasons Restaurant retain a thrilling allure, seeming to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. In this work, distinguished architectural historian Alice Friedman draws on a vast range of sources to argue that the aesthetics of mid-century modern architecture reflect an increasing fascination with "glamour," a term widely used in those years to characterize objects, people, and experiences as luxurious, expressive, and even magical.

Featuring assessments of architectural examples ranging from Mies van der Rohe's monolithic Seagram Building to Elvis Presley's sprawling Graceland estate, as well as vintage photographs, advertisements, and posters, this book argues that new audiences and client groups with tastes rooted in popular entertainment made their presence felt in the cultural marketplace during the postwar period. The author suggests that American and European architecture and design increasingly reflected the values of a burgeoning consumer society, including a fundamental confidence in the power of material objects to transform the identity and status of those who owned them.
Print publication date June 2010 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300116540
EISBN 9780300230932
Illustrations 165
Print Status in print