Instructor: George H. Marcus
Class hours Tuesdays 5:00 to 8:10 Meyerson Hall B3
Office hours Tuesdays 3:30 to 4:30 Jaffe 305
Telephone 215 573 9702 (Tuesdays)


Course Requirements

1 Students are responsible for completing the required readings in advance of class, at which readings will be discussed. Class participation contributes 10% towards the final grade.

2 Students should prepare for each lecture by familiarizing themselves with the fifteen images and accompanying information posted on the course home page:

3 A 1 1/4 hour mid-term exam (25%) and 2 hour final exam (35%) will be given. Each exam will consist of slide recognition and discussion, identification of names and terms, and essay(s) based on the readings and lectures.

4 A 2500 word paper (30%), combining research on the life and work of a designer of the studentís choice with a discussion of that designer in the context of the masters studied in class, is due the last session. Students will also present an oral précis of their research at that class. Goals for the paper will be discussed in class and an instruction sheet will be distributed.

Text and Course Pack

The required text is Kathryn B. Hiesinger and George H. Marcus, Landmarks of Twentieth-Century Design: An Illustrated Handbook (New York: Abbeville Press, 1993). The text (abbreviated below as Hiesinger and Marcus) is available at the Penn Book Center, 130 S. 34th Street, and through Amazon (used and new). Additional required readings are included in a Course Pack, sold at the Campus Copy Center, 3907 Walnut Street. Both the text and Course Pack are on reserve at Fisher Fine Arts Library.


January 14 Introduction: Masters of Modern Design

January 21 Lecture 1: William Morris (1834-1896)

Wendy Kaplan. "The Lamp of British Precedent: An Introduction to the Arts and Crafts Movement." In "The Art That Is Life": The Arts & Crafts Movement in America, 1875-1920, pp. 52-60. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1987.

William Morris. "My Very Uneventful Life." 1883. In Gillian Naylor, ed., William Morris by Himself: Designs and Writings, pp. 15-17. Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1988.

John Ruskin. Book IV, sections 9-16, of "The Nature of Gothic." From The Stones of Venice. 1853. In The Works of John Ruskin, edited by E. T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, vol. 10, pp. 188-96. London: George Allen, 1904.

William Morris. "The Beauty of Life." 1880. In The Collected Works of William Morris, vol. 22, pp. 51-80. London: Longmans Green and Co., 1914.

January 28 Lecture 2: Henry van de Velde (1863-1957)

Hiesinger and Marcus, biog. pp. 392-93, and chapter 1

Henry van de Velde. "Extracts from His Memoirs: 1891-1901." Architectural Review, 112 (September 1952), pp. 145-48, 151-55.

Henry van de Velde. "The New Ornament." 1901. In Form and Function: A Source Book for the History of Architecture and Design 1890-1939, edited by Tim and Charlotte Benton, p. 32. London: Crosby Lockwood Staples in association with the Open University Press, 1975.

Emil Gallé. "Modern Furniture Decorated According to Nature." 1900. In ibid., pp. 29-32.

February 4 Lecture 3: Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

Hiesinger and Marcus, biog. pp. 398-99, chapter 2, and nos. 13, 26, 163

Frank Lloyd Wright. "The Art and Craft of the Machine." 1901. In Collected Writings, edited by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, vol. 1, pp. 59-69. New York: Rizzoli, 1992.

Frank Lloyd Wright. From The Natural House. 1954. In ibid., vol. 5, pp. 91-92, 100-102, 119-20. New York: Rizzoli, 1995.

February 11 Lecture 4: Le Corbusier (1887-1965)

Hiesinger and Marcus, biogs. pp. 353-54 [Le Corbusier], p. 345 [Pierre Jeanneret], and p. 371 [Charlotte Perriand], and chapter 3

Proposals and discussions at the Congress of the German Werkbund. 1914. In Documents: A Collection of Source Material on the Modern Movement, edited by Charlotte Benton, pp. 5-11. Milton Keynes, England: The Open University Press, 1975.

Le Corbusier. "Eyes Which Do Not See." 1923. Translated by Frederick Etchells. In Towards a New Architecture, pp. 84-97. London: The Architectural Press, 1927.

Le Corbusier. "Type-Needs, Type-Furniture." 1925. Translated by James I. Dunnett. In The Decorative Art of Today, pp. 69-79. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1987.

Le Corbusier. "The Lesson of the Machine." 1925. In ibid., pp. 105-14.

February 18 Lecture 5: Marianne Brandt (1893-1983)

Hiesinger and Marcus, biog. p. 317, and nos. 91, 118

Walter Gropius. "Program of the Staatliche Bauhaus in Weimar." 1919. In Hans M. Wingler, The Bauhaus: Weimar Dessau Berlin Chicago, p. 31. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1969.

Walter Gropius. "Bauhaus Dessau--Principles of Bauhaus Production." 1926. In ibid., pp. 109-10.

Walter Gropius. "The Theory and Organization of the Bauhaus." 1923. In Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius, and Ise Gropius, eds., Bauhaus: 1919-1928, pp. 22-31. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1938.

Marianne Brandt. "Letter to the Younger Generation [excerpt]." In Eckhard Neumann, ed., Bauhaus and Bauhaus People, pp. 97-99. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1970.


February 25 Lecture 6: Raymond Loewy (1893-1986)

paper proposal due

Hiesinger and Marcus, biog. pp. 355-56, chapter 4, and nos. 184, 197

Raymond Loewy. "The Chrome and You" and "The MAYA Stage." In Never Leave Well Enough Alone, pp. 207-29, 277-83. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1951.

March 4 midterm exam

Films of Charles and Ray Eames (second half of class)

March 11 no class (spring break)

March 18 Lecture 7: Charles Eames (1907-1978) and Ray Eames (1912-1988)

Hiesinger and Marcus, biog. pp. 327-28, chapter 5, and no. 256.

Eliot F. Noyes. Organic Design in Home Furnishings, pp. 10-17, 26-29. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1941.

Owen Gingerich. "A Conversation with Charles Eames." American Scholar, 46, part 3 (1977), pp. 326-37.

Paul Schrader, "Poetry of Ideas: The Films of Charles Eames." Film Quarterly, Spring 1970, pp. 2-16.

March 25 Lecture 8: Dieter Rams (born 1932)

Hiesinger and Marcus, biog. p. 375, and chapter 6

Dieter Rams. "And Thatís How Simple It Is To Be a Good Designer." Designer, September 1978, pp. 12-13.

April 1 Lecture 9: Achille Castiglioni (1918-2002)

Hiesinger and Marcus, biogs. p. 320 [Achille Castiglioni], p. 320 [Livio Castiglioni], p. 321 [Pier Giacomo Castiglioni], chapter 7, and nos. 221, 266, 374

Achille Castiglioni. "Anthology of Writings 1953-1999." In Sergio Polano, Achille Castiglioni: Complete Works, pp. 447-59. Milan: Electa, 2001.

April 8 Lecture 10: Ettore Sottsass, Jr. (born 1917)

Hiesinger and Marcus, biog. pp. 385-86, chapters 8, 9.

Memphis [catalogue], n.p. Milan: Memphis, 1982.

April 15 Lecture 11: Philippe Starck (born 1949)

Hiesinger and Marcus, biog. p. 386

Philippe Starck. "Words." 1998, 1996. In Starck, pp. 402-7. Cologne: Taschen, 2000.

Philippe Starck. "Starck Speaks." In Conway Lloyd Morgan, Starck, pp. 8-27. New York: Universe, 1999.

April 22 Presentation and Discussion of Research Topics

paper due

May 6 final exam