Review by Choice Review
Over the past quarter-century, many books have been written on Art Deco in the US, most of them directed to a general audience. Art Deco New York stands among the best of these endeavors, owing to the extent of the author's knowledge and the breadth of his presentation. Art Deco is presented as part of broader currents of modernism and eclecticism alike. Lowe concentrates on architecture, but he introduces no small amount of related material on the decorative and graphic arts, transportation systems, and recreational pursuits. He also writes about Manhattan (everything mentioned is in that borough save the 1939 World's Fair) with both authority and feeling. Most chapters are structured according to functional spheres (places of work, places of residence, etc.), which helps impart a sense of life (at least one of privilege) in Manhattan in the late 1920s through the Depression decade. The text and an array of stunning illustrations convey the elan that characterized Art Deco at its best, without downplaying its importance as a major artistic phenomenon. This volume is at once erudite, suave, and engaging--a perfect match for its subject. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels. R. Longstreth George Washington University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.