Rediscovering Art Deco U.S.A.: A Nationwide Tour of Architectural Delights
by Barbara Capitman, Michael Kinerk, and Dennis Wilhelm, photographs by Randy juster, Viking Studio Books, 224 pages
Anyone for whom Art Deco suggests only brawny civic sculptures or post office murals entitled Progress will be surprised by this photographic survey of great surviving works from the American Deco movement. The photographer Randy Juster has sought out Art Deco structures around the country for almost twenty years, and his catalogue includes shrouded granite commodities traders, neon diners, movie palaces, stepped skyscrapers, Pueblo Deco from the Southwest, and a liner-shaped Coke bottling plant. Barbara Capitman, who died in 1990, was a founder of the Miami Beach Art Deco Historic District in the 1980s, and she also toured the country in search of Deco worth saving. That trip led to this charming book project. Deco, writes Juster in his preface, was “often innovative, but rarely revolutionary,” which may partly explain why it was embraced nationwide. The book is divided into chapter cities, and among its less famous highlights are the Kansas City Power Sc Light building, with a glowing, prismatic top, and the elegantly spare Tulsa Union Depot.