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Broken Glass

Best Seller
Broken Glass by Alex Beam
Paperback $18.00
Mar 30, 2021 | ISBN 9780399592737

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  • Mar 30, 2021 | ISBN 9780399592737

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  • Mar 17, 2020 | ISBN 9780399592720

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Praise

“Beam’s thorough and thoughtful account is both a knowing biography of an object—the house—and of its two principals, the well-documented Mies and the widely overlooked Farnsworth.”The New York Times
 
“Mies van der Rohe was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century, and Mr. Beam provides an exceptionally perceptive character study of this complex and often impenetrable figure.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“This engrossing page turner is a portrait of two complex people and a fascinating history of a modern architectural masterpiece.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“It is a compelling book—perhaps the best narrative I have ever read about modern architecture.”—The Spectator

“An amazing story, brilliantly told . . . Alex Beam quickens your interest in every detail. His sensitive insights into architecture are matched by his feeling for psychology and for all the hilarious, petty, surprising minutiae of human relationships.”—Sebastian Smee, Pulitzer Prize–winning art critic and author of The Art of Rivalry

“Alex Beam begins with a simple foundation—a man, a woman, and a house—out of which he constructs a nuanced biography of one of the twentieth century’s most fascinating architects, a portrait of his brilliant and pioneering patron, and a dramatic tale of the impassioned battle over a work of art that consumed them both. Broken Glass is compelling from the first page as it chronicles, in delicious and sometimes hilarious detail, the mere mortals behind a Modern masterpiece.”—Mary Gabriel, author of Ninth Street Women

“Just when we thought everything had been said . . . an impressively comprehensive and moving account of the flawed architect-client relationship (and probably more) that lead to the greatest architectural masterpiece of the twentieth century.”—Reinier de Graaf, architect and author of Four Walls and a Roof

“The Farnsworth House occupies an essential place on architecture’s time line—but in the able hands of Alex Beam, its backstory offers a drama worthy of Edward Albee. Drawing upon trial transcripts, memoirs, and generations of critical appraisals, Beam offers a richly detailed look at how an apparently simple commission evanesced into an enduring modernist landmark of glass and steel. Broken Glass leaves us pondering an intriguing paradox: How does one inhabit a work of art?”—Hugh Howard, author of Architecture’s Odd Couple

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