Saturday, June 20, 2020

Lee Lawrie's Prairie Deco: History in Stone at the Nebraska State Capitol

Lee Lawrie's Prairie Deco is a meticulously researched and annotated study of Lee Lawrie, a phenomenally prolific and admirably talented designer and architectural sculptor and one of the leading lights of the art deco movement in the USA. Released in 2018, this is an impressive study of a massively talented designer and architect.

Millions of people have visited the massive landmark statue of Atlas at Rockefeller Center. It's an instantly recognizable iconic image. I was unfamiliar with the artist behind Atlas, though I'd visited it on more than one occasion, and this volume is full of images of this and other extremely well known sculptures, friezes, building, and facades from Lawrie's genius and passion.

The book is split into three sections: early biographical detail from his birth and details from his life, collaborations and commissions, and a comprehensive survey of the art deco movement and Lawrie's place in its history. The book includes well collated and annotated references, bibliography, a cross referenced index, and many many photos and facsimiles of historical documents.

I found it an interesting and enlightening read which kept my interest and never descended into pedantry.

Five stars. Really well done.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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