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EDITOR'S WORD

In 1998, David Rago got the idea that collectors might want to learn more about the 20th-century designers who were drawing increasing interest at his auctions in Lambertville, New Jersey. Together with a colleague, he founded Modernism. In the ten years since, enthusiasm for modernism has soared, with collectors, dealers, curators and designers probing ever more widely and deeply into the ideas and products of the movement. In that time, Modernism, too, has explored the seemingly endless variety of modernist design, bringing the most compelling discoveries to our readers, whether in architecture, industrial design, graphic design or the decorative arts. As we move into our second decade, we remain committed to presenting everything from the iconic to the unknown, from the earliest production of the last century to the movement’s most recent iterations.

To mark our 10th anniversary, we are pleased to announce our first online edition, available for this introductory issue at no charge to our readers. (For details, see page 42.) Contingent upon reader response, we will produce an online version of each issue in an effort to increase accessibility and offer value-added features, as well as to reduce our environmental impact: readers could choose to receive the online edition only. And rather than making feel-good changes, such as simply switching to recycled paper (which can actually increase carbon emissions through transportation to a distant printing plant, for example), we have decided to undertake an analysis of our entire production process, from materials to printing to shipping, to see how we can make our operations greener. Stay tuned for updates on our progress.

This issue’s cover story sheds new light on the powerful, organic architecture of John Lautner, who refused to be cowed by prevailing orthodoxies. We also consider two routes by which modernism seduced the public around the world. One was Swedish Modern, an informal, approachable version originated by Viennese designer Josef Frank. The other was Hollywood, which made modernism, from Art Deco to Mies, as glamorous as the stars themselves. Our profile of Hugh Acton reminds us that modernism is far from ancient history; at 82, he is once again assembling, by hand, his famous Suspended Beam Bench and working on new designs. City Report takes us to the origins of it all — the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany — and to an unexpected center of Art Deco architecture: Shanghai, China. We also look at why modernism is still with us, its high points of the past decade and where it’s headed.

We would like to thank you, our loyal readers and advertisers, for your support and feedback over the past 10 years. We hope that you enjoy this special issue and we look forward to many more to come.

–Andrea Truppin
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