October 1, 2008
More than just the editorial birthplace of California modernism, Arts & Architecture was one of the most influential cultural magazines of the 20th century.
Arts & Architecture was one of the great American independent magazines of the last century. Its Case Study House program (1945–1965), under the direction of John Entenza, was an extraordinary experiment in residential architecture that showcased some of this country’s greatest architects: Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Richard Neutra, as well as unsung talents like Craig Ellwood. This fall Taschen will release Arts & Architecture, 1945–54: The Complete Reprint, a ten-volume facsimile edition (each box has a year’s worth of magazines) collecting every issue from that era. (A second volume covering 1955–1967 will be published soon.) “A & A was a ship headed in the right direction,” says David Travers, a former editor and publisher of the magazine who wrote an essay in the limited-edition reprint. “It was about purpose-driven housing for GIs coming back from the war. The idea came from the architects’ left-leaning political perspectives.” Today, as socially driven architecture has had a second coming, the magazine is a renewed inspiration for designers. Here we present behind-the-scenes anecdotes from some of the luminaries connected to this seminal publication.