Design and Desire’s Look Back at 2013

Design and Desire in the Twentieth Century would like to wish our readers all the best in the coming New Year. Let’s take a moment to remember people and events from 2013.

  1. Fifitieth Anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin County Civic Center
  2. Fifitieth Anniversary of Kodak’s Instamatic Camera
  3. Hundreth Anniversary of Cass Clibert’s Woolworth Building
  4. Demolition of Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital
  5. Demolition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hoffman Auto Showroom
  6. Louis Kahn’s Esherick House Goes on the Market
  7. Flood Waters Threaten Mies Van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House 
  8. George Eastman House establishes Dodge and Burn Blog
  9. Edgar Taffel Archives Open for Research

In Memoriam

Blogs to Follow in 2014 (if you haven’t already)

Weegee’s World

The photographer Authur Fellig, better known as “Weegee,” chronicled life in New York City from the 1930s through the 1960s, and he himself became almost as legendary as his unflinching photos of New York. According the Museum of Modern Art’s website, “In 1945 Weegee published his first book, Naked City, followed in 1946 by Weegee’s People.”

In 2012 The International Center of Photography mounted an exhibition of Weegee’s crime photography, “Weegee: Murder is My Business.” 


Weegee (Authur Fellig), My Studio - A Patrol Wagon, (circa 1938).
Source: http: // 

For more on Weegee and to view more of the photographer’s work:
Museum of Modern Art Web Site
J.Paul Getty Museum
The Gordon Archive

Comfort Image: Ben’s Chili Bowl at Night

Ben's Chili bowl
Michael Horsely, Ben’s Chili Bowl (circa 1970).

Chances are the weather’s getting colder where you are, and you’re in the mood for some comfort food. How about a hot bowl of chili or a chili burger?

Design and Desire is sharing a terrific photograph by Michael Horsely of American National Standard of Ben’s Chili Bowl in Baltimore, MD. They just don’t design take-out joints like this anymore.

In David Byrne’s Office

Photographer Gil Inouoe shares an intimate look at the creative space of one of the most innovative artists and musicians of the late Twentieth Century, former Talking Heads front man, David Byrne.

To view more images, visit Colt+Rane.

Gil Inouoe, David Byrne’s Office (2012).

Vintage White Tower Restaurants

Our friends at Art Deco Architecture recently shared this terrific photo of a vintage White Tower Restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland. The photo is included in the online portfolio, "Hidden Baltimore" by photographer Michael Horsley.

White Tower
Michael Horsley. White Tower Hamburgers, 550 N Howard Street, (1985).

The collection includes the White Towers shown in this post along with several haunting images of commercial architecture in Baltimore from the first half of the Twentieth Century. Click here to view more.

White Tower Hamburgers Erdman Ave I
Michael Horsley. White Tower Hamburgers, Erdman Avenue 1 (1989).

White Tower Washington Blvd
Michael Horsley. White Tower Hamburgers, Washington Blvd. (1986).

Mr. Horsley’s work can also be viewed on the American National Standard.

Postcards: The Tweets Of Their Day

In the time before computers and social media, if one wanted to send a brief informal message, one scribbled their thoughts on the back of a postcard. Fast Company’s Co.Design blog recently posted a review of a new exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) called, “The Postcard Age.”  The show features numerous postcards from the Museum’s Leonard A. Lauder collection.

"The Postcard Age" is running now through April 13, 2013 at the Museum Of Fine Arts Boston.

Read the review and see more great postscards on Co.Design.

More information on the MFA’s exhibition.

Luigi Bompard. Cover postcard for the series Photography, (c. 1900).

Silly Saturday: Go Frank Go!

Never let it be said that architect and designer Frank Gehry wouldn’t go the extra mile to make a sale. In this 1972 photo by Ralph Morse, Gehry is shown demonstrating the structural integrity of his compressed cardboard desk. Thank you to Eloise Moorehead for sharing this photo originally posted on the edithsheads blog.

Ralph Morse, Frank Gehry (1972).

Deco Art Glass Windows

When one thinks of art glass windows it’s usually the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany or Frank Lloyd Wright that comes to mind. Art Deco generally isn’t associated with leaded art glass windows. The work of René Lalique is more in keeping with typical Art Deco glass.

Australian photographer David Thompson, however, recently posted three marvelous examples of Art Deco glass windows that he discovered on a building in Moruya, New South Wales. We’re sharing one here; you can see more on David’s blog, Art Deco Buildings.

Art Deco Window
David Thompson, Art Deco Window in Moruya, New South Wales (2012). Copyright David Thompson.

Photographer Pedro E. Guerrero (1917-2012)

A 1947 photo by Pedro Guerrero shows the  George Sturges House by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Frank Lloyd Wright, George Sturges House (1939). Photo by Pedro E. Guerrero (1947).

Pedro E. Guerrero, who is perhaps best known for his photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic mid-century buildings, died on September 14, 2012. The best of these photographs can be viewed in Guerrero’s book, Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer, published in 1993.1

In addition to capturing images of Wright’s work, Guerrero “photographed buildings by other architects, including Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, Edward Durrell Stone and Philip Johnson; [and] documented the work of sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.1


1. Muchnic, L. (September 14, 2012). Pedro E. Guerrero dies at 95; fine arts photographer. Los Angeles Times.,0,7037728.story

For Further Reading

Guerrero, P.E. (2007). Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey. Princeton Architectural Press, New York, New York.

Guerrero, P.E. (1993). Picturing Wright: An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer. Pomegranate Communications, Petaluma, California.

Mid-century Sign Language

Los Angeles art director and photographer Marc Shur has posted a stunning set of outdoor advertising signs that date from about the Forties through the Sixties on his Flckr set. The photo here shows a sign that incorporates a clock, located on Ventura Boulevard in Encino, California, and is just one of a collection of dozens of photos of outstanding retro signs you can spend the better part of a hour or so enjoying.

Encino Park Liquor
Marc Shur, Time to Buy (2012). Copyright: Marc Shur.