Nelson, George and Henry Wright: TOMORROW’S HOUSE. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945. First edition in Dust Jacket.

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TOMORROW'S HOUSE

George Nelson and Henry Wright

George Nelson and Henry Wright: TOMORROW'S HOUSE. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1945. First edition. Quarto. Tan fabricoid boards decorated in red. Photo illustrated dust jacket. 214 pp. 232 black and white photographs and illustrations. Gutters lightly marked. The scarce dust jacket is lightly spotted and soiled with a chipped spine crown. Interior unmarked and very clean. Out-of-print. The presence of the dust jacket makes this a nice copy of this landmark title, one of the nicer copies we have handled, and a first edition to boot! A nearly fine copy in a very good dust jacket that presents nicely under archival mylar.

8 x 11 book with 214 pages and 232 black and white photographs of how these two self-avowed modernists would prefer to see American housing trends go after the end of World War II. A very desirable book that pinpoints the move away from the streamline and moderne styles of the thirties through the International Style onward into the future.

This book spotlights some of the more buget-conscious, lesser-known structures of the period, thus supplying a more unique perspective than similar volumes that tend to showcase the iconic residences. In terms of decor, there is none of that Chippendale jive here-- every residential interior is decked out in full prewar, streamlined glory.

  • The Great Tradition
  • Home is Where You Hang your Architect
  • How to Plan a Living-Room
  • Picture Section: Living-Rooms
  • Where Shall We Eat
  • Lighting
  • Picture Section: Dining and Entertainment
  • The Work Center
  • The Room Without a Name
  • Heating
  • Picture Section: Kitchens and Baths
  • Bathrooms Are Out of Date
  • Manufacturing Climate
  • Sleeping
  • Picture Section: Bedrooms and Closets
  • Organized Storage
  • Sound Conditioning
  • Picture Section: Windows
  • Windows
  • Solar Heating
  • Putting the Pieces Together
  • Picture Section: Exteriors
  • How to Get Your House (or Remodel the One You Have)
  • Projections

Philip Johnson, Alfred H. Barr, Jr. and Henry-Russell Hitchcock codified their observations about modern architecture in the 1932 landmark Museum of Modern Art show "The International Style: Architecture Since 1922." The show was profoundly influential and is seen as the introduction of modern architecture and architects Le Corbusier, Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe to the American public. The exhibition was also notable for a controversy: architect Frank Lloyd Wright withdrew his entries in pique that he was not more prominently featured.

As critic Pater Blake has stated, the importance of this show in shaping American architecture in the century "cannot be overstated." In the book accompanying the show, coauthored with Hitchcock, Johnson argued that the new modern style maintained three formal principles: 1. an emphasis on architectural volume over mass (planes rather than solidity) 2. a rejection of symmetry and 3. rejection of applied decoration. The definition of the movement as a "style" with distinct formal characteristics has been seen by some critics as downplaying the social and political bent that many of the European practitioners shared. Nelson and Wright expand on this premise in TOMORROWS HOUSE, as well as showcasing the best examples of the Americanized International Style Residential Architecture built before 1945.

Architects and designers whose work appear in this book include James Auer (Chicago, IL), John Beck (New York NY), Richard M. Bennett (New Haven Connecticut), Walter Bognar (Cambridge Massachusetts), Marcel Breuer (Cambridge), Robert M. Brown (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Alan Burnham (NYC), John Callender (NYC), Alice Morgan Carson (NYC), Clark and Frey (Palm Springs, CA), Hervey Parke Clark (San Francisco), Frederick L.R. Confer (Martinez CA), Mario Corbett (San Fran), Robert Trask Cox (Pasedena CA), Gardner A. Dailey (San Fran), George Daub (Philadelphia PA), J. R. Davidson ( Los Angeles CA), Robert L. Davison (NYC), Kenneth Day (Miquon PA), William F. Deknatel (Chicago), Robert Sydney Dickens (Chicago), Donald Deskey (NYC), John Ekin Dinwiddie (San Fran), H. Creston Doner (Toledo Ohio), Alden B. Dow, Inc. (Houston TX), Alden B. Dow, Inc. (Houston TX), Alden B. Down, Inc. (Midland Michigan), Dubin & Dubin (Chicago), Malcoln Graeme Duncan (NYC), Guyon C. Earle (Forest Hills, Long Island), Livingstone Elder (NYC), James F. Eppenstein(Chicago), Joseph Esherick (Ross CA), Allmon Fordyce (Glen Gardener New Jersey), Willard Hall Francis (Los Angeles), John Funk (San Fran), Samuel Glaser (Boston), Bertrand Goldberg (Chicago), Michael Goodman (Berkeley CA), Philip Goodwin (NYC), Robert A. Green (Tapping Landing, Tarrytown), Julius Gregory (NY), Walter Gropius (Cambridge), Paul Grotz (St. Luke's Place, NY), William Hamby (NYC), Michael M. Hare (NYC), Harwell Hamilton Harris (Los Angeles), Albert Lee Hawes (NYC), Victorine and Samuel Homsey (Hockessin Delaware), Burnham Hoyt (Denver Colorado), Holden, McLaughlin & Associates (NYC); Caleb Hornbostel (NYC), S. Clements Horsley (NYC), George Howe (Washngton DC), Clement Hurd (NYC), A Musgrave Hyde (NYC); G. McStay Jackson, Inc. (Chicago), Huson Jackson (St. Louis MIssouri), Philip Johnson (NYC); , Philip Joseph (San Francisco), Kenneth Kassler (Princeton New Jersey), George Keck (Chicago), Morris Ketchum (NYC), Vincent Kling (East Orange NJ), Carl Koch (Belmont), George Kosmak (CA), Paul Laszlo (Beverly Hills), William Lescaze (NYC), France E. Lloyd (San Fran), John Manzer (NYC), Clarence W.W. Mayhew (Piedmont CA), Allen J. Maxwell (Goldsboro, North Carolina), Moore & Hutchins (NYC), Richard Neutra Los Angeles CA, Emrich Nicholson & Douglas Maier (LA), Samual A. Marx (Chicago), George Nelson (NYC), Ernst Payer of Rideout & Payer (Chagrin Falls OH), W.L. Pereira (Beverly Hills), G. Holmes Perkins (Cambridge), Pomerance & Breines (NYC), Arthur Purdy (Chicago), Antonin Raymond (NYC), John J. Rowland (Kinston North Carolina), Jedd Stow Reisner (NYC), George Sakier (NYC), Morris B. Sanders (NYC), Walter Sanders (NYC), Paul Schweikher (Roselle Illinois), Isador Shank (St. Louis County), Thorne Sherwood (Stamford CT), Willard B. Smith, Theodore Smith-Miller (NYC), Eldredge Snyder (NYC), Ralph Soriano (Los Angeles), Edward Durell Stone (NYC), Hugh A. Stubbins, Jr. (Belmont MA), Paul Thiry (Seattle Washington), Van der Gracht & Kilham (NYC), Robert Law Weed (Miami Florida), Paul Lester Wiener (NYC), Virginia Williams NY, Royal Barry Wills (Boston), Frank Lloyd Wright (Taliesin, Spring Green Wisconsin), Henry Wright (Long Island), Lloyd Wright (Los Angeles), William Wilson Wurster (San Fran).

Photographers whose work appear in this book include William H. Allen, Elmer L. Astleford, Esther Born, Chicago Architectural Photographing Company, Robert M. Damora, Fred R. Dapprich, Paul Davis, George H. Davis Studio, P.A. Dearborn, Richard T. Dooner, Philip Fein, Richard Garrison, John Gass, Samuel H. Gottscho, Gottscholl-Schleisner, Arthur C. Haskell, Hedrich-Blessing Studio, Steven Heister , C.V.D. Hubbard, Robert Humphreys, LIFE photo, Herbert Gehr, LIFE photo, William C. Shrout, F.S. Lincoln, Luckhaus Studio, Rodney McCay Morgan, P.A. Nyholm, Maynard L. Parker, Ben Schnall, Juluis Shulman, Richard Averill Smith, Ezra Stoller, Roger Sturtevant, Mary Thiry, Bennet S. Tucker, George H. Van Anda and W.P. Woodcock.

George Nelson (USA, 1908-1986) possessed one of the most inventive minds of the 20th century. Nelson was one of those rare people who could envision what isn’t there yet. Nelson described his creative abilities as a series of “zaps” – flashes of inspiration and clarity that he turned into innovative design ideas. <p>

One such “zap” came in 1942 when Nelson conceived the first-ever pedestrian shopping mall – now a ubiquitous feature of our architectural landscape – detailed in his “Grass on Main Street” article. Soon after, he pioneered the concept of built-in storage with the storage wall, a system of storage units that rested on slatted platform benches. The first modular storage system ever, it was showcased in Life magazine and caused an immediate sensation in the furniture industry.

In 1946, Nelson became director of design at Herman Miller, a position he held until 1972. While there, Nelson recruited other seminal modern designers, including Charles Eames and Isamu Noguchi. He also developed his own designs, including the Marshmallow Sofa, the Nelson Platform Bench and the first L-shaped desk, a precursor to the present-day workstation. He also created a series of boldly graphic wall clocks and a series of bubble lamps made of self-webbing plastic.

Nelson felt that designers must be “aware of the consequences of their actions on people and society and thus cultivate a broad base of knowledge and understanding.” He was an early environmentalist, one of the first designers to take an interest in new communications technology and a powerful writer and teacher. Perhaps influenced by his friend, Buckminster Fuller, Nelson’s ultimate goal as a designer was “to do much more with much less.”

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