A fascinating look at the work of a photographer whose images documented and shaped the American suburban aesthetic following the Second World War
As a prolific photographer for House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens, Architectural Digest, and Sunset magazine, Maynard L. Parker (1900–1976) was a pioneer in documenting residential spaces and landscapes for postwar America. His extensively published, sun-kissed brand of photography made him a critical contributor to domestic design culture from the 1940s into the 1960s. Parker's lens revealed the homes and lifestyles of affluent Americans and celebrities, including Judy Garland, Clark Gable, and Bing Crosby, as well as the interiors, gardens, and built works of Samuel Marx, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Church, and Cliff May, offering an alluring template for living in a new consumer age.
Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream is the first monograph to consider Parker and his work. Lavishly illustrated essays by leading scholars set Parker's photography against the backdrop of an unprecedented demographic shift, the Cold War, and a suburban society increasingly fixated on consumption.
“Parker knew exactly how to sell the American dream.”—1stdibs.com~1stdibs.com
“The work of prolific photographer Maynard L. Parker (1900-1976) exemplifies modern photography at its most quintessential….Watts’ book is the first to define Parker and his influential career and features essays written by leading scholars about the photographer himself as well as the period of American history.” –KPCC, AirTalk with Larry Mantle~KPCC, AirTalk with Larry Mantle
“Yale University Press recently released the first monograph dedicated to Maynard Parker. It shows the photographer constructing a sunny ideal of postwar domesticity with images that captured Modern Americans at home.”—Architectural Record~Architectural Record
“an entertaining look at important work.”—The Los Angeles Times~The Los Angeles Times
~David Collard, Times Literary Supplement
"This monograph, the first study of his life and work, is as wonderful as it is overdue." David Collard, Times Literary Supplement
“The nine essays in the book deftly set the cultural context, reminding us how the home can provide a site for an expression of a larger political discourse.” —Art Papers~Art Papers
Honorable Mention, Photography/Art category at the 2013 San Francisco Book Festival sponsored by the JM Northern Media LLC~San Francisco Book Festival, JM Northern Media LLC
Winner of the Photography/Art category at the 2013 New York Book Festival given by JM Northern Media LLC.~New York Book Festival, JM Northern Media LLC
“Well-written and lavishly illustrated, the book does indeed offer a rich vein for historians interested in how American modernism intersected with American capitalism to create a post-war American dream . . . The book will join other classic scholarship on domestic space and the built environment by Dolores Hayden, Kenneth Jackson, Sam Bass Warner, Elaine Taylor May, and Gwendolyn Wright.”—Southern California Quarterly~Southern California Quarterly
Winner of the 2013 Southern California Book Festival, in the Photography/Art category, sponored by JM Northern Media LLC.~Southern California Book Festival, JM Northern Media LLC