Mock, Elizabeth, Robert C. Osborn [Illustrator]: IF YOU WANT TO BUILD A HOUSE. New York: Museum of Modern Art, January 1946.

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Elizabeth Mock, Robert C. Osborn [Illustrator]

Elizabeth Mock, Robert C. Osborn [Illustrator]: IF YOU WANT TO BUILD A HOUSE. New York: Museum of Modern Art, January 1946. First edition. Decorated, glazed boards. 96 pp. 133 black and white photographs and illustrations. Vintage tape piece to front and rear endpapers. Board edges lightly nicked and worn. Interior unmarked and clean. Out-of-print. A very good copy.

7.5 x 10.25 hardcover book with 96 pages and 133 black and white photographs and illustrations. A discriminating photographic survey of modern architecture with a simply-written analysis of problems in home planning, designing, and construction, with emphasis on reasons for what makes good design. Numerous B&W photos of both exteriors and interiors. Highly recommended, since much of this information is still useful.

Photography by Julius Schulman, Ezra Stoller , Hedrick-Blessing Studio and others.

From the Book: "Modern architecture isn't just another imitative style. It is an attitude towards life, an approach which starts with living people and their needs, physical and emotional, and tries to meet them as directly as possible, with the best procurable means. Otherwise there are no rules. The results will be as various as the range of materials offered, the human problems posed, and the creative talent employed in solving them . . . The most delicate part of your job as client will be the selection of an architect."

  • Needed -- A Fresh Approach: Choosing an Architect
  • The Question of Size
  • Space for Living
  • Plenty of Light
  • Small Houses can Seem Large
  • An Opened House?
  • The Use of Materials
  • Furniture
  • House and Surroundings
  • Questions of Quality
  • Postscript -- Must Houses be Expensive?

Designers, manufacturers, and artists whose works are shown and/or discussed in this volume include: Philip Johnson, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Funk, Harwell Hamilton Harris, Alice M. Carson, George Fred Keck, Carl Koch, G. Holmes Perkins, John Yeon, Clarence Mayhew, Victor Hornbein, Edward Durell Stone, Walter Bogner, Oscar Stonorov, Constantin Pertzoff, John Lautner, Le Corbusier, Richard Neutra, Paul Nelson, John Porter Clark, Albert Frey, Marcel Breuer, Gerrit Rietveld, Serge Chermayeff, William Wilson Wurster, Gardner A. Dailey, Rudolf Mock, Walter Gropius, Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, George Nelson, Henry Wright, Theodore Bernardi, Xenia Cage, L. L. Rado, Bruno Mathsson, Philip L. Goodwin, Pietro Belluschi, Alden B. Dow, Paul Thiry, Joseph P. Richardson, Huson Jackson, John Spaeth Jr.,John W Lincoln, Paul Schweikher, W Curt Behrendt, Thomas D Church,  FJ McCarthy,   Diedrich F Rixmann,  Bernard Rudofsky,  Oscar Niemeyer, V&S Homsey, Mario Corbett, Dinwiddie & Hill, and others.

Terence Riley noted that the early tastemakers at MoMA understood their job was to separate "the wheat from the chaff." Few people rose to that challenge with more vigor than Philip Johnson, the young head of the Department of Architecture and Design. Alfred Barr's insistence on including Architecture and Design as a fully functioning department within MoMA was a radical curatorial departure, which seems only obvious today.

Philip Johnson's 1928 visit to the Bauhaus Dessau sparked his imagination and solidified his role as a proselytizer for the European Avant-Garde  architecture. "We were proud to be avant-gardists; we wore our enthusiasm as a badge of honor that distinguished us as culturally superior to those around us." Johnson said. From this plateau, Johnson and his MoMA collaborators Barr and Hitchcock eventually labeled this architecture "The International Style."