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Crafting a Modern World

The Designs of Antonin and Noemi Raymond

Kurt G. F. Helfrich, William Whitaker

     8.5 × 11 in (21.6 × 27.9 cm)
Hardcover
352 pages
100 color illustrations, 340 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 11/1/2006
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568985831


Kurt G. F. Helfrich and William Whitaker, editors, with contributions by Ann Lutun, Mari Sakamoto Nakahara, Ken Tadashi Oshima, and Christine Vendredi-Auzanneau. Foreword by Kenneth Frampton.

There appears to be no end in sight to the ongoing love affair with mid-century modern design. Still, it's curious that we keep hearing the same names again and again while so much inspiring work waits for its "moment" to be discovered. Antonin and Noemi Raymond are now ready for their close-up. Crafting a Modern World is the first comprehensive book in English on the duo that creatively transformed design from 1917 to 1966. Best known for a series of finely detailed structures built in Japan during the 1930s, the Raymonds had prolific careers that included designs for factories, office buildings, churches, and schools as well as furniture, fabrics, and graphic design.

The Raymonds combined their European modern roots with the vernacular craft traditions they discovered in regions as diverse as Japan, India, and rural Pennsylvania. They also collaborated with some of the twentieth century's leading thinkers and artists, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Cass Gilbert, Isamu Noguchi, George Nakashima, and Fernand Leger. Inspired by the conventions of traditional Japanese buildings, they brought a high level of attention to craft to all their work, from churches in Chicago and Karuizawa to the Tokyo Tennis Club, the Pacific Cable Company Station in Guam, the Golconde Dormitory in India, and houses throughout the northeastern U.S., including their own modernist interventions at a rural farmhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Four essays round out this thorough examination of the Raymonds' careers--a missing and enchanting chapter in the history of mid-century modern design.


Kurt Helfrich is curator of the Architecture and Design Collection at the University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, and an adjunct faculty member in the History of Art and Architecture Department, UCSB.

William Whitaker is chief curator and collections manager at the University of Pennsylvania's Architectural Archives.


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