Friday, February 28, 2014

BOOK NOTE: Coca-Cola as Design Icon

What do these odd couples have in common: Andy Warhol and Norman Rockwell, JFK and Richard Nixon, the Andrews Sisters and the Kinks? The answer: all were Coca-Cola enthusiasts!

Assouline Publishers, hard cover, 208 pages, 125 illustrations in color and black and white, $65

Billions of people worldwide, over generations, have been lured by the winning synthesis of content and packaging that has made Coca-Cola an icon of American popular culture. To celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary, Assouline has released a cheery new volume (with forward by Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent) abundantly illustrated with photos, posters, graphic and fine art; and punctuated by apt quotes from poets, songwriters and politicians (Averell Harriman: “Americans wanted to settle all our difficulties with Russia and then go to the movies and drink Coke.”) A fascinating timeline/epilogue chronicles the company’s enduring commitment to topnotch visual presentation: the mindful selection, in1886, of a signature typeface; a trademarked, instantly identifiable “contour bottle”; fulsome use of red – the color of power and passion; and employment of charismatic design. (Industrial design giant Raymond Loewy, for example, created the company’s sleek fountain dispenser in 1947.) Together, these elements have made Coke the most recognizable product on the planet, and – with 79 million Facebook friends to date – probably the most popular.

Friday, February 21, 2014

EXHIBITION: Art and Design in the Modern Age: Selections from The Wolfsonian Collection

I finally got to see the permanent collection of the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami, Art and Design in the Modern Age -- great fun to see all the tableware, radios, and furniture referencing the look of skyscrapers and ocean liners! The collection contains three hundred works spanning graphics (books, posters, and postcards) decorative arts, architectural models, paintings and sculptures. 

The big blue disc in the middle of the room is a radio;
on the far left is a snazzy vacuum cleaner.

                             Skyscraper bookshelf            Crazy toasters were all the rage in the 1930s

Friday, February 14, 2014

JEWEL BOXES: A house for Valentine's Day ♥

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone -- and special greetings to my followers from Ukraine, who have risen to the top of the charts in my audience stats! In honor of the day, I'm posting some photos of a Frank Lloyd Wright house I recently found out about. Sited on a heart-shaped island (!) it's called the Massaro House and is located in Mahopac, New York.

It was on the market recently, priced @$20 million. Rumor has it that Angelina Jolie bought it as a gift for her life partner Brad Pitt, for his 50th birthday. (He is a major architecture buff, so it wouldn't surprise me.)

The island (house at left edge) 

The house