Oliver Messel: In the Theatre Of Design

Thomas Messel, Editor, Lord Snowdon, Introduction by
Edited by Thomas Messel. Rizzoli, $75 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8478-3396-2
Reviewed on: 11/14/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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English furniture designer Messel lovingly narrates the story of his uncle's amazing life and multifaceted career in interior design, theatrical set and costume design, painting, and architecture. Oversized with numerous photographs, both black-and-white and color, the book is a pleasure to thumb through for Messel fans and newcomers alike. An "impossible act to follow,” Messel's most lasting contributions include numerous houses in Barbados and the sets and costumes of many films, from 1934's Don Juan to Suddenly, Last Summer in 1959. The author describes his uncle's creative passion and energy for collecting, illustrating these traits throughout the book with images of Messel's work, including his paintings, photos and sketches of sets and costumes, and interior and exterior redesigns. Additional resources include tributes by friends, colleagues, and modern designers; filmography; an illustrated timeline; and detailed endnotes. Interior and theatrical designers and fans will find inspiration in Messel's extreme attention to detail in all of his endeavors. (Oct.)
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