Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Gilded New York: Design, Fashion, and Society

Gilded New York: Design, Fashion, and Society by Phyllis Magidson,‎ Susan Johnson,‎ and Thomas Mellins
Published by: Applewood Books
Publication Date: November 5th, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 240 Pages
To Buy

"Shiny! So much shiny! I’m not the world’s most visual person, but you can’t write a book about the Gilded Age without lots of glossy, full page photos. It’s an era that begs for physical description: the gowns, the jewels, the furniture, the art, and, of course, the gilding. It’s an era of opulence and show, and, oh boy, does it show. If Edith Wharton reminisced about the staid brownstones of her youth, this is the other side of the picture, the untrammeled conspicuous consumption of the robber barons that forced even the most staid old New York families to up their game to keep up, moving from their brownstones to luxe new mansions on the hitherto undeveloped hinterlands of the Upper East Side. My characters in The English Wife are caught in the middle of this transition, with Bay’s cousin Anne enthusiastically adopting the new opulence (this book provided much inspiration for her mansion), while Bay’s mother puts off building on the parcel of land she’s bought, not wanting to fall behind even as she deplores the vulgarity of the new people. Want more shiny? Also check out Richard Cheek’s Newport Mansions: the Gilded Age. Because if you thought those Manhattan homes were over the top...." - Lauren Willig

The official patter:
"The Gilded Years of the late nineteenth century were a vital and glamorous era in New York City as families of great fortune sought to demonstrate their new position by building vast Fifth Avenue mansions filled with precious objects and important painting collections and hosting elaborate fetes and balls. This is the moment of Mrs. Astor’s “Four Hundred,” the rise of the Vanderbilts and Morgans, Maison Worth, Tiffany and Co., Duveen, and Allard. Concurrently these families became New York’s first cultural philanthropists, supporting the fledgling Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Opera, among many institutions founded during this period. A collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York, Gilded New York examines the social and cultural history of these years, focusing on interior design and decorative arts, fashion and jewelry, and the publications that were the progenitors of today’s shelter magazines."


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