Cover image for Catalog
Goldberg, Carin.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Stewart, Tabori & Chang, [2001]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : all illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HF5861 .G66 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Carin Goldberg, ever on the lookout for useful images for her graphic projects, acquired a mail-order catalog dated winter 1951 to 1952. This two-pound "wish book" offered Americans everything they could ever need or hope to acquire.Here, Goldberg noted, were consumer goods presented as icons: brassieres and girdles were wonders of engineering, water heaters displayed as if they were pieces of sculpture -- hundreds of pages of clothes and appliances and tools elevated to stellar status. In this very personal selection of more than 60 of these images, she prompts one to wonder about the objects themselves, how they are presented, what they meant then and what they mean now.Goldberg is very clear that the attraction is not the nostalgia these items evoke. The images she has chosen are pure forms, minimally decorative, juxtaposed to suggest further associations and ideas. The curve of a bodice mirrors the stitched seam of a basketball; a ceiling light's contours echo those of a flowing skirt.Isolated from any sales description, these pieces are seductive and alluring in a completely unexpected way. An introduction by curator Dorothy Twining Globus forms a context for these images, both past and present.Catalog is a jewel to hold, peruse, and enjoy. The book's stunning design features a specialty binding; the front cover is embellished simply by a custom metal plate bearing the title. For design aficionados, lovers of fashion, and students of visual culture, this sly celebration of American consumerism is a must-have item in itself.