Bobbye Tigerman Editor
The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2013, English
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
6 x 9 inches, paperback, 320 pages
ISBN: 9780262518383
Suggested Retail Price: $34.95

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From the Publisher. Mid-20th-century California offered fertile ground for design innovations. The state’s reputation as a land of unlimited opportunity, its many institutions of higher learning, and its perpetually booming population created conditions that allowed designers and craftspeople to flourish. They found an eager market among educated and newly affluent Californians, and their products shaped the material culture of the entire nation. This book, a companion to the popular 2011 MIT Press/LACMA publication California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way," reveals the complex web of influences, collaborations, institutional affiliations, and social networks that fueled the California design economy. This book offers more than 140 illustrated biographical profiles of the most significant mid-century California designers, including such famous names as Saul Bass and Charles and Ray Eames as well as many lesser known but influential practitioners. These designers, craftspeople, and manufacturers worked in the full range of design media, creating furniture, fashion, textiles, jewelry, ceramics, and graphic and industrial design. Each entry includes a succinct biography, a portrait of the designer or image of an important design, cross-references to other entries, and a list of sources for further research. Significant examples of California design and craft objects are featured in more than 180 illustrations and rare photographs. Created by internationally renowned graphic designer Irma Boom, the book is a beautifully crafted object in its own right. It will become an indispensable resource for all those interested in modern design.

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Phil Patton

The encyclopedic Handbook of California Design, 1930-1965: Craftspeople, Designers, Manufacturers gives lasting form to the research and analysis that went into the Pacific Standard Time shows. The reference volume was published jointly by LACMA and MIT Press. It serves as a companion to the  2011 MIT Press/LACMA publication California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way," but also offers an invaluable backdrop for both New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California and Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990.

Included are more than 100 biographies of architects, designers, and craftsman and in a chart or infographic sketches out the social links among them, routed through universities and firms.

The publisher promises that “the book will become an indispensable reference for scholars, students, collectors, and all those interested in modern design.. .. it emerged from the realization that years of research could not be contained the in the show catalog." Entries include a biography and image as well as references. Edited by Bobbye Tigerman, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the book has a mid-century period design by Irma Boom. Individual biographies were written by Jennifer Munro Miller, Lacy Simkowitz, Staci Steinberger, and Bobbye Tigerman. There is also a map of influences and connections and collaborations among the architects and designers, along with an extensive bibliography.

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