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Hollywood Modern: Houses of the Stars
by Michael Stern and Alan Hess

Sumptuous as a book with this title should be, it lives up to the expectation with gossipy backstories of wonderful examples of Modernism. The writers strive to define “Hollywood Modern,” ultimately admitting that it—like Hollywood itself—is a state of mind. The homes featured span from 1928 (Lloyd Wright for silent film star Ramón Navaro) to 2004 (Xten for fashion designer Randolph Duke and Guy Dreier for uber-producer Jerry Weintraub). Portraits of homeowners are followed by brief essays on the architecture as well as the personality, and—most interestingly—the provenance, as some houses bounce from celeb to celeb. Johnny Carson’s kaleidoscopic treehouse by Ed Niles, FAIA, and Bob Hope’s domed concrete wonder by John Lautner, FAIA, are total standouts. As expected, the homes are in southern California, with two exceptions: Faye Dunaway’s Manhattan apartment by Charles Gwathmey, FAIA, and Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller’s never-built Frank Lloyd Wright in Connecticut (also the only unbuilt project in the book). Photographers about as famous as the stars, including Richard Avedon, Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, Slim Aarons, Tim Street-Porter, and Edward Weston, contribute to the rich mix of portraits of luminaries and architectural views of homes and gardens; LA lensman Steve King was tasked to fill in with the bulk of the new images.

Rizzoli New York; 2018; 240 pages; hardcover; $55. 

 

 

 

 
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