20th Century Decoration

Calloway, Author, Stephen Calloway, Author Rizzoli International Publications $100 (408p) ISBN 978-0-8478-0886-1
An encyclopedic reference work documenting the major American and European design styles of this century, from art nouveau to neo-baroque, this much-needed volume beckons intelligently to both lay and scholarly readers as Calloway, a curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum, argues cogently for a tradition of 20th century decoration, independent from modernism. Richly illustrated chapters rightly juxtapose modern interpretations of styles with period revivals, and rooms embodying ``truly eclectic taste''such as the home of Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwellare singled out for praise. Though books on interior decoration often serve as country cousins to scholarly texts on art and architecture, Calloway's volume instructively restores balance to these allied fields. Yet where cultural analysis is concerned, his effort falls short, leaving Mario Praz's The History of Interior Decoration the still-unrivaled work in the field. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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