URBAN STUDIES AND THEORY

PUBLISHER
Moderne Kunst Nürnberg

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 8 x 10 in. / 144 pgs / illustrated throughout.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2012 p. 122   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783869842653 TRADE
List Price: $40.00 CDN $54.00

AVAILABILITY
In stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Los Angeles, CA
MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, 09/28/11-01/08/12

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MODERNE KUNST NüRNBERG

Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy and the Heart of American Modernist Architecture and Design

Edited and text by Kimberli Meyer, Susan Morgan. Interview by Makoto Watanabe.

Featured image, the Kallis House, designed by R.M. Schindler between 1946 and 48 in Studio City,
California, is reproduced from <I>Sympathetic Seeing</I>. "McCoy noted Schindler’s unexpected and expressive use of Bouquet Canyon stone in this hillside house and studio designed for an artist."Reyner Banham once said of the great architecture historian Esther McCoy (1904–1989) that “no-one can write about architecture in California without acknowledging her as the mother of us all.” Esther McCoy first moved to Los Angeles in 1932, commencing what would be a lifelong infatuation with the city’s architecture and a vocation as the pre-eminent historian of west coast modernist architecture. Initially employed as a draftswoman in the studio of R.M. Schindler, McCoy became intimately involved in the preservationist politics of Los Angeles, contributing significant coverage of controversial slum clearances and spending nearly a decade campaigning to save Dodge House in West Hollywood from demolition. By 1960, McCoy had published Five California Architects, her seminal study of the work of Irving Gill, Charles and Henry Greene, Bernard Maybeck and Rudolf Schindler. Through this pioneering volume and subsequent books, essays and lectures, McCoy established the terms by which we understand the history of California modernism today. Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy and the Heart of American Modernist Architecture and Design is the first major catalogue to survey this distinguished figure’s life and work. Highlighting the extraordinary range and significance of her presence in the field, this volume affirms McCoy’s place as a key figure in American architectural history.

Featured image, the Kallis House, designed by R.M. Schindler between 1946 and 48 in Studio City, California, is reproduced from Sympathetic Seeing. "McCoy noted Schindler’s unexpected and expressive use of Bouquet Canyon stone in this hillside house and studio designed for an artist."

Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy and the Heart of American Modernist Architecture and Design

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FROM THE BOOK
"In the spring of 1944, Esther McCoy first walked into R.M. Schindler’s Kings Road studio, seeking a job as a draftsperson and fully braced for rejection. She had learned of the vacancy through Pauline Gibling Schindler, the architect’s estranged wife, adjacent neighbor, and indomitable champion. Years later, McCoy recalled the scene: 'The eugenia hedge at the north side of 833 – 835 was neatly clipped to head height with not a sprig out of place, while the one to the south grew wild and tall with tufts shooting out everywhere. Two people of different tastes and of equal strength obviously controlled the landscaping of the house on Kings Road.' In McCoy’s writing, each hard-working word delivers; nothing is wasted or left to chance. Her lean depictions are as particular and evocative as fairy tales. 'It was as if the house stood up by the pressure of opposing wills,' she observed, precisely framing the auspicious day. Schindler, of course, hired her on the spot."

Susan Morgan, excerpted from the chapter, "The Visible Scene," published in Sympathetic Seeing.

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