Lifestyle and Culture

Heavenly Soles

Extraordinary Twentieth-Century Shoes

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Some of the most startling and delightful shoes ever created are represented here, from the hand-crafted wonders Yantourney produced in the 1920s, to the supremely comfortable yet elegant platforms from Ferragamo during the '40s, and a recent collection from Vivier embroidered with pearls, feathers, and crystal beads.

They might seem like mundane necessities, down there shuffling around in the dust. But as virtually every woman and a great many men know, shoes have long inspired imaginative caprice and private longing on an extravagant scale.Some of the great designers of the twentieth century have found the form of the shoe a source of extraordinary inspiration. Ferragamo, Vivier, Yantourney, and Perugia; Charles Jourdan, Manolo Blahnik, and Maud Frizon — all have devoted their rich creativity to shoe design, an enterprise Vivier describes as "a sculptural problem in which the center is always void."

Elegant, fanciful, extravagant, and quirky, twentieth-century shoes put their best foot forward in Heavenly Soles. This book introduces us to some of the most startling and delightful shoes ever created, from the magnificent hand-crafted wonders Yantourney produced in the 1920s using antique laces and velvets, to the supremely comfortable yet elegant platforms from Ferragamo during the '40s, and a recent collection from Vivier embroidered with pearls, feathers, and crystal beads.But there's more to the story then design and glamor. Heavenly Soles also tell us about the changing position of women in the twentieth century — the first era in which it has been fashionable for them to walk, freely and comfortably, and the first in which shoes have been perfected for fit and balance. In contrast, the wonderfully illustrated text shows the import of the sexy and crippling stiletto heel of the '50s while also providing fascinating information about the larger fashion context of the times.

This beautifully designed survey concludes with an international compendium of the best of contemporary models, none of which belongs to Imelda.

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The Complete Book of Bonsai

A Practical Guide to Its Art and Cultivation

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Presenting a unique blend of information and ideas, The Complete Book of Bonsai is the most lavish and up-to-date guide to the subject yet published. Harry Tomlinson is an internationally recognized authority on bonsai, and here brings this absorbing discipline within everybody's reach.

CLASSIC STYLES EXPLAINED

The origins and development of bonsai are traced, and the underlying principles of this fascinating art clearly explained. The classic styles are listed and illustrated, together with full descriptions of how they were derived from models in the world. Outstanding examples of plantings in all of the various styles are shown. The types of containers are detailed, and the importance of their use for different trees or styles explained. Advice is given on placing and exhibiting your completed bonsai.

CLEAR STEP-BY-STEP SEQUENCES

There is comprehensive information on how to create a bonsai from a seedling, cutting, or garden center plant. Clear step-by-step sequences take you from the initial raw material through to the finished bonsai, showing the superb results that can be achieved. All the tools and techniques of bonsai are illustrated and explained, and their use described in detail. Maintenance and propagation sections tell you everything you need to know to keep your bonsai beautiful and healthy, or to create your own trees.

DETAILS OF MORE THAN 100 SPECIES

A photographic catalogue of bonsai trees and shrubs lies at the heart of the book, providing the cultivation and styling details of over 100 different species. Each entry is accompanied by an original full-color photograph of at least one outstanding specimen. This section is supplemented by a further compendium of trees and shrubs that can be grown as bonsai, giving a total of over 300 to choose from. The Complete Book of Bonsai reveals every aspect of the art, with inspirational ideas and practical advice at every turn. Whether you are a beginner who would like to grow just one or two trees, or an experienced enthusiast who wishes to build up a whole collection, it is the essential reference work.

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Audubon's Birds of America

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Abbeville's magnificent volume on John James Audubon's world famous ornithological engravings.

This marvelous edition of Audubon's Birds of America displays all 435 of Audubon's brilliant handcolored engravings in exquisite reproductions taken from the original plates of the Audubon Society's archival copy of the rare Double Elephant Folio. Although many attempts have been made to re-create the magnificent illustrations in Audubon's masterpiece, nothing equals the level of fidelity or scale achieved in this high-quality edition.

Organized and annotated by Roger Tory Peterson, America’s best-known ornithologist, and issued with the full endorsement and cooperation of the Audubon Society, this magnificent volume is as thorough in scientific classification as it is beautiful. Peterson's fascinating introduction places Audubon in the context of the history of American ornithological art and also reproduces a wide sampling of the work of Audubon's notable predecessors and disciples, including Peterson's own justly famous paintings.

This new systematic arrangement of the prints, complete with informative commentaries about each bird, made it possible to correct many of the problems or errors in Audubon's original edition revealed by later scholarship. The colorful captions in the back provide fascinating commentaries on each featured bird.

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International Design Yearbook 5

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This fifth-year installment of IDY is a unique showcase and the most authoritative guide to contemporary domestic design.

The fifth edition of the critically acclaimed annual review of international design covers the year 1990's best, most characteristic, and most significant examples in furniture, lighting, tableware, textiles, and products from teakettles to computers. Once again, brilliant works by leading designers appear alongside innovative pieces of newcomers. 1990's selection was judged by the acclaimed Spanish designer Oscar Tusquets Blance, from whose hand have come architectural, interior, furniture, and industrial product masterpieces.

An indispensable source book for professionals, this wonderfully illustrated annual is also a delight to anyone who appreciates creative genius in the form of everyday objects.

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Howard Finster, Stranger from Another World

Man of Visions Now on This Earth

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In this remarkable book, illustrations of Finster's exuberant paintings, sculptures, buildings, and gardens are accompanied by his own inimitable narrative.

A backwoods Baptist preacher inspired by the Gospel, visitations from the dead, and visions of extraterrestrial life, the Reverend Howard Finster is an unlikely candidate for art celebrity. Yet his work has been shown in museums and galleries from Soho to Australia and from Los Angeles to the Venice Biennale. He's been a guest on the "Tonight Show" and at the Library of Congress. He's been in People, The Wall Street Journal, and dozens of other national publications. He's done album covers for the Talking Heads and R.E.M., and he's painted Easter eggs for the White House. Collectors buy his works before the paint dries, sometimes acquiring them sight unseen over the phone. As Finster says, "No tellin' how many fans I got now. There's millions of 'em."

Few of those fans can make the pilgrimage to Finster's Paradise Garden in Pennville, Georgia. Stranger from Another World solves that problem by providing 150 illustrations of the artist's exuberant paintings, sculptures, buildings, and gardens, along with his own inimitable narrative. Drawn from hundreds of hours of conversation edited by Tom Patterson, Finster's story has the ear-tickling eloquence that has long enraptured both his congregations and his art fans. As the reverend himself says: "Sometimes people come here, and they look like sour-pusses. But after they hear me talk twenty or thirty minutes, and after they go over the gardens and come out, they just fall in love with me."

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The Bakelite Jewelry Book

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During recent years, the Bakelite jewelry of the 1930s has become a trendy and popular fashion accessory and much-valued collectible. Emblematic of a unique culture that only could have blossomed between a depression and a world war, this cheeky costume jewelry is beautifully shown here in its amazing range, humor, high style, good-hearted silliness, streamlined chic, and daring inventiveness.

Bakelite, the first thermosetting plastic, formed the basis for a Depression-era fashion trend that began, spread like wildfire, and died away, all within a few short years—between 1933 and 1941. Two generations later, there is an astounding resurgence of interest in Bakelite jewelry. Among fashion trendsetters, there is growing infatuation with these playful and very wearable baubles. Among serious collectors, there is fierce competition for the rare, quality pieces that were made in limited numbers under such evocative brand names as Marblette, Gemstone, Prystal, Agtine, and Catalin. Bakelite seems to be everywhere, and prices are rising. The authors have assembled for this book—from many sources—the greatest array ever seen of Bakelite jewelry. They have also appended a very useful guide to prices.

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The Japanese Tattoo

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The definitive book on a fascinating art form, whose popularity continues to increase.

A crimson fish wrestles a man. A horned demon stares menacingly. These vivid scenes are tattoos, created in pain, incised in the flesh of the Yakuza, Japan's feared secret society of gangsters. They are the visions of the Irezumi, the legendary tattoo artists, who spend years creating living masterpieces. Photographer Sandi Fellman describes this strange and violent world both in her text and in her stunning, large Polaroid photographs.

American photographer Sandi Fellman used a rare large size Polaroid camera to create these photos of Irezumi Japanese men and women who wear elaborate full-body tattoos. Fellman treats the tattoos as artworks and their creators as artists. Her text touches on the tattooing process, common motifs, the sociology of the tattoo, and relationships between the tattoo masters and their clients. Author D.M. Thomas has contributed two pages of his reactions to these unusual and even disturbing images. The 46 color plates in this volume, most of them whole body nudes, should prove provocative, fascinating, or repellant to a wide variety of library patrons. -- Library Journal

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Colt

An American Legend

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A must-have for every collector and enthusiast, this official history of Colt firearms illustrates and describes every model in every variation, from 1836 to 1986.

No inventor in the history of American industry has captured the imagination the way Samuel Colt did. His revolving pistol became synonymous with American genius and invention, gave birth to a great manufacturing empire, and was legendary in the history of the Civil War, in the taming of the West, and in campaigns and adventures all over the world--wherever Colonel Colt's invention "made men equal."

With more than 3300 color photographs and 115 in black-and-white (all taken especially for this book), Colt: An American Legend illustrates and describes every model Colt produced between 1836 and 1986. There has never been a bigger, more beautiful, or more extraordinary book in the firearms field. The large format of the book allows many of the firearms to be shown full size, and the history, development, and importance of each model and variation are presented and described in authoritative detail.

A unique appendix traces the complete serial numbers and year of manufacture of every Colt model — making this book a remarkable and invaluable guide for every serious collector and dealer.

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The Hawaiian Shirt

Its Art and History

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In this beautiful little book — illustrated with dozens of shirts — Thomas Steele tells the story of this remarkable art form, details its different varieties, discusses the materials, designers, and manufacturers, and presents the fine points that make a shirt collectible.

Unknown in the Islands until missionaries introduced a drab forerunner to cover "heathen nakedness" — which the irrepressible Hawaiians soon decorated with hand-printed geometric motifs from the traditional tapa cloth — the genuine Hawaiian shirt is now regarded as a work of art and avidly sought out by collectors. When tourism came to Hawaii in the late 1920s, these unusual shirts were among the first things that visitors had to have. Local designers and tailors worked quickly to meet the demand and began to expand the range of decoration to include palm trees and romantic beaches, tropical jungles and volcanoes, exotic flowers and scenes from Polynesian legend. The Hawaiian shirt had been born.

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