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4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book
The illustrations in this book are wonderful. You really come to appreciate how the design evolved and how the impact of many people changed the design. You also get a feel for what the architect was thinking as he designed. This is more of an account of the genesis of the building rather than a book on the exacting details and plans of it, but there are enough of those...
Published 15 months ago by qweenie47

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wright book with infuriatingly wrong design
This should have looked so good. The cover has an intriguing and distinctive design on a predominantly upright shaped book and maybe this would be ideal to reveal the wonders of this remarkable building but unfortunately I thought the title had serious editorial flaws:

* You would think a book about a building and especially this building would have a decent...
Published on 17 Dec 2010 by Robin Benson


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wright book with infuriatingly wrong design, 17 Dec 2010
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Robin Benson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum (Hardcover)
This should have looked so good. The cover has an intriguing and distinctive design on a predominantly upright shaped book and maybe this would be ideal to reveal the wonders of this remarkable building but unfortunately I thought the title had serious editorial flaws:

* You would think a book about a building and especially this building would have a decent floor plan but there is none. William Storrer's definitive A Frank Lloyd Wright Companion has computer generated plans of every Wright building. The spread in his book on the Guggenheim has a plan for the lower, ground and first levels. Someone should have asked permission to reproduce these.

*There are many letters from individuals and organizations reproduced in the book. The editors obviously thought they had some significance but twenty-five of them are reproduced just too small to read. I get the impression that the designers just used them as graphic fillers to liven up the pages.

* Although there is no overall floor plan of the Museum there are many plans of part of the building and colored sketches showing design ideas but like the letters these have been reproduced too small so they are useless.

*The book's designers have created a page grid and followed it by squeezing in photos, drawings, newspaper clippings and other graphic material without any regard to what the reader might want to see. This creates excessive amounts of white space throughout the pages and was particularly noticeable in the seventy-seven page Timeline section at the back of the book. Probably more than a third of each page is just white paper. So many photos and graphics really should have been much larger but aren't because then they wouldn't follow the page grid.

*The curse of tiny type lives on in this book. (Why is this so prevalent in 'designed' books?) Captions and page numbers are in six point and printed in a darkish orange. Footnotes are also in six point but printed in black. Considering how wide the margins are on each page these footnotes could easily have been accommodated on the relevant pages. Fortunately the book's main text is a quite readable nine point.

* There is no index. How is that possible? The absence suggests, to me at least, that the whole production has been created in a very slapdash way.

As to the text, well, I'm happy to say this does deliver something for your money. The seven main chapters cover FLW and his masterpiece in detail and I thought the first two: Hilary Ballon who looked at the origins of the Museum in New York and Joseph Siry who covered the construction in relation to other later museums, particularly interesting. The extensive Timeline section in the back pages was quite fascinating as you read about the many problems Wright had with the authorities and individuals. It turns out the Guggenheim was his most challenging commission. The book's last essay, by Angela Starita, covers the recent updating of the building in 2005 to 2008 and she provides a wealth of detail about the physical structure and the corrections made to the original.

As I said in the beginning this could have been a wonderful book but it falls far short of my expectations essentially because of the inadequate work from Pentagram who designed it and the editors who didn't pick up these fundamental errors and because of this the book is really overpriced.

***LOOK INSIDE THE BOOK by clicking 'customer images' below the cover.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this book, 6 April 2013
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This review is from: The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum (Hardcover)
The illustrations in this book are wonderful. You really come to appreciate how the design evolved and how the impact of many people changed the design. You also get a feel for what the architect was thinking as he designed. This is more of an account of the genesis of the building rather than a book on the exacting details and plans of it, but there are enough of those about! Read this if you find historical archive information and drawings fascinating. An enjoyable read for an architect and non architect alike!
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3.0 out of 5 stars 'The still point of the turning world', 9 Jun 2010
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This review is from: The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum (Hardcover)
This book is the first detailed study of a remarkable project. The story of how this project got designed and built would make a great film. For me the book does not have enough detailed drawings. Could any book have enough drawings to illustrate the evolution of the building. It would be fascinating to know, for example, the design of the shuttering to create an ever expanding spiral wall at a gradient of (3-4?0 degrees. Despite this comment it is a great read and I have no doubt there will be more books about this iconic building.

Michael Ball
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful critical analyses and plenty of colour images, 17 Oct 2010
This review is from: The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum (Hardcover)
The critical essays in the book are extremely useful for understanding the design behind the building. There are also many good-quality, coloured images that are necessary for understanding the building and Wright's intentions. The timeline at the end of the book is also very useful for placing the building in its social and global context.
The main difference between this book and others I have read on the Guggenheim, is that the ramp is perceived as a success and effectively allowed art to be displayed in a more intimate and less elitist environment. This book may be helpful in seeing a more positive view of the building than other writers have portrayed.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant, 30 Dec 2009
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J. Eastham (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum (Hardcover)
My ordered product took little time on delivery. It was neatly packaged and made a lovely present for my son in law. Extremely satisfied with the whole experience ... painless.
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