Retro : A Guide to the Mid-20th Century Design Revival

By (author) Adrian Franklin


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Retro may be cool, but why are we now in the middle of a love affair with objects and designs from the mid-twentieth century? What unique qualities do they share that make them so special now? Using one of the most spectacular displays of retro objects ever assembled, and covering all the bases - furniture, fashion, ceramics, technology, metal, graphics, plastic and glass - twentieth-century expert Adrian Franklin provides the answers. Spanning the period from the 1950s to the 1980s and beyond, and with international coverage, the book identifies the designers, manufacturers, brands, innovations, technologies and materials that transformed the world during the period of mid-century modern and still cast their magic spell. Authoritative, entertaining and beautiful, Retro is itself an object to be treasured.

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  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 240 x 268 x 26mm | 1,399.98g
  • 01 May 2013
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Berg Publishers
  • London
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 735
  • 0857858505
  • 9780857858504
  • 348,964

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Author Information

Adrian Franklin is a much-published sociologist who has held professional positions in Australia, Europe and the UK. He was co-host and presenter on the hit Australian television show Collectors for six years and is currently Professor of Sociology at the University of Tasmania.

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Review quote

Mid Century Modern, or Retro, has eclipsed in popular terms the two other great styles of the 20th century, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Yet, the supporting literature is still largely collector and value based. Retro, now a way of life, really needs an sensible, accessible, stimulating and wide-ranging handbook, a proper grown up style guide. This is it. -- Paul Atterbury BBC Antiques Roadshow It is a curious irony that the mid-20th century, an era when designers and artists on all fronts strove to bring us tomorrow's world today, is now the trigger for nostalgic reverie and frenzied competition among collectors and dealers. Alert to the paradox whereby once cutting-edge artefacts have morphed into a new kind of antique, Adrian Franklin offers a visually captivating and incisively observed tour through this lost future -- Simon Reynolds author of Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to its Own Past

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