Frankl, Paul T.: FORM AND RE-FORM: A PRACTICAL HANDBOOK OF MODERN INTERIORS. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1930.

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Paul T. Frankl

Paul T. Frankl: FORM AND RE-FORM: A PRACTICAL HANDBOOK OF MODERN INTERIORS. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1930. First edition. Quarto. Black cloth elaborately stamped in gold. 203 pp. Plates and period typography. Unobtrusive former owner address sticker partially removed from title page [see scan]. Spine cloth very lightly faded [much less than usual], with a few instances of inevitable flaking to the cloth gilt. A well preserved copy, and the best we hanve handled — very good or better indeed.

5.75 x  8.75 hardcover book with 203 pages and 109 black and white plates. A high point of American Moderne in both form and content -- beautifully designed and printed, FORM AND RE-FORM stands alone as an object defining the spirit of the age. Highly recommended.

“Quite simply, one of the finest printed artifacts of the American Moderne Movement. FORM AND RE-FORM is remarkable for the lucidity and perceptiveness of its text and illustration.

“Frankl integrates the arts, showing architecture, photography, and all aspects of the decorative arts; he credits Frank Lloyd Wright with being the first modern American architect; he emphasizes the important contributions of European immigrants; he talks about new materials and their significance to progressive aesthetics; and he promotes American work in general.

“Carrying his message even to the design of the printed page, Frankl emphasizes the importance of the unity and totality of the modern movement.” [Wilson, Pilgrim, Tashjian: THE MACHINE AGE IN AMERICA 1918-1941. New York: Brooklyn Museum of Art and Harry N. Abrams, 1986, p. 285]

  • Awakening
  • Protagonists
  • Style vs. "Styles"
  • System
  • Form and Function
  • Horizontalism
  • Creative Decoration
  • Background
  • Furniture
  • Chairs
  • Color and Design
  • Weaving
  • Old and New
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Weaving
  • Materia Nova
  • Business
  • Future
  • Bibliography

Architects, designers and artists include Paul T. Frankl, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frederick Kiesler, Henry Varnum Poor, Kem Weber, Gaston Lachaise, Lucie Holt Leson, Winold Reiss, Ilonka Karasz, Josef Hoffmann, Anton Bruehl, Walker and Gillette, J. E. R. Carpenter, Pola and Wolfgang Hoffmann, Djo-Bourgeois, Adnet, Saddler, Herbert Lippmann, Jacques Darcy, Georges Champion, M. W. Barney, Joseph Urban, Andre Lavezzari, Chareau, Lescaze, Donald Deskey, Eugene Schoen, G. Rohde, Raoul Dufy, Ralph Steiner, Edward Steichen, Ruth Reeves, Paul Rodier, Philippe Petit, Walter Von Nessen, Hunt Diederich, Raymond Hood, Vahan Hagopian, Michel Roux-Spitz, Alexander Archipenko, Richard J. Neutra, George J. Adams and Eric Bagge.

"To be modern is to be consistent, it is to bring out an artistic harmony in our lives and necessary environments, a harmony between our civilization and our individual art impulses. Our own art is a creation that expresses ourselves and our time. It is an expression that is alive and while it acknowledges its debt to the area of the past, it has no part in them." -- Paul T. Frankl

“Paul T. Frankl (Austria, 1886 – 1958) was one of the most important and influential designers working in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. His skyscraper bookcases, produced in New York City in the late 1920s, captured the optimism and bravura of modern urban life with their jaunty angles and expressive personalities. Not only were these objects popular enough in their day to inspire New Yorker cartoons, but they have become, in our time, the essential centerpiece in almost every major collection of twentieth-century American furniture. Frankl’s ability to divine the attitude of an era did not end in the 1920s, however; his low-slung, upholstered Speed armchair of the early 1930s is a poetic, comfortable embodiment of streamlining, and his biomorphic cork-topped coffee table of 1951 aptly expresses the more casual lifestyles of the post–World War II era. In addition to his work as a designer and decorator, Frankl was an ardent, effective publicist for the modernist cause, and he published numerous articles and books over the course of his career; his New Dimensions (1928) and Form and Re-Form (1930) were among the earliest American modern design manifestoes. He helped establish the American Designers Gallery and the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen.