Serious play : design in midcentury America (Book, 2018) [WorldCat.org]
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Serious play : design in midcentury America

Author: Monica Obniski; Darrin Alfred; Milwaukee Art Museum,; Denver Art Museum,
Publisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, [2018] ©2018
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"This spirited volume shows how postwar designers embraced whimsy and eclecticism in their work, exploring playfulness as an essential construct of modernity. Following World War II, Americans began accumulating more and more goods, spurring a transformation in the field of interior decoration. Storage walls became ubiquitous, often serving as a home's centerpiece. Designers such as Alexander Girard encouraged  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Exhibition catalogs
History
Exhibitions
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Monica Obniski; Darrin Alfred; Milwaukee Art Museum,; Denver Art Museum,
ISBN: 9780300234220 0300234228
OCLC Number: 1028880197
Notes: Catalog of an exhibition held at Milwaukee Art Museum, September 28, 2018-January 6, 2019 and Denver Art Museum, May 5-August 25, 2019.
Description: xi, 244 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 29 cm
Contents: Playful domesticity / Monica Obniski --
Charles and Ray Eames : Serious play, serious pleasure / Pat Kirkham --
"What is a clock, anyway?" / Amy Auscherman --
Eva Zeisel : the "merry-souled" designer's playful search for beauty / Pat Kirkham --
Toys as furniture/Furniture as toys / Alexandra Lange --
Alexander Girard and play in the corporate environment / Monica Obliski --
The play principle: Paul Rand and graphic design / Steven Heller --
Serious business : the wonderful, imaginative spirit of Alcoa's forecast program / Darrin Alfred.
Other Titles: Design in midcentury America
Responsibility: edited by Monica Obniski and Darrin Alfred.

Abstract:

"This spirited volume shows how postwar designers embraced whimsy and eclecticism in their work, exploring playfulness as an essential construct of modernity. Following World War II, Americans began accumulating more and more goods, spurring a transformation in the field of interior decoration. Storage walls became ubiquitous, often serving as a home's centerpiece. Designers such as Alexander Girard encouraged homeowners to populate their new shelving units with folk art, as well as unconventional and modern objects, to produce innovative and unexpected juxtapositions within modern architectural settings. Playfulness can be seen in the colorful, child-sized furniture by Charles and Ray Eames, who also produced toys. And in the postwar corporate world, the concept of play is manifested in the influential advertising work of Paul Rand. Set against the backdrop of a society that was experiencing rapid change and high anxiety, Serious Play takes a revelatory look at how many of the country's leading designers connected with their audience through wit and imagination"--Publisher's description.

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"As several contributors . . . point out, 'many designers . . . rejected a dogmatic modernism and hungered for something beyond rational and utilitarian motives.' The post-World War II era was marked Read more...

 
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