Tastemaker, n. Anyone with the power to make you eat quinoa. Kale. Spicy sriracha sauce. Honeycrisp apples. Cupcakes. These days, it seems we are constantly discovering a new food that will make us healthier, happier, or even somehow cooler. Chia seeds, after a brief life as a novelty houseplant and I Love the '80s punchline, are suddenly a superfood. Not long ago, that same distinction was held by pomegranate seeds, aç berries, and the fermented drink known as kombucha. So what happened? Did these foods suddenly cease to be healthy a few years ago? And by the way, what exactly is a "superfood" again? In this eye-opening, witty work of reportage, David Sax uncovers the world of food trends: Where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. Traveling from the South Carolina rice plot of America's premier grain guru to Chicago's gluttonous Baconfest, Sax reveals a world of influence, money, and activism that helps decide what goes on your plate. On his journey, he meets entrepreneurs, chefs, and even data analysts who have made food trends a mission and a business. The Tastemakers is full of entertaining stories and surprising truths about what we eat, how we eat it, and why.
An examination of the development, role, and influence of the British decorative art dealers who invented an Anglo-Gallic style for elite interiors. In this volume Diana Davis demonstrates how London dealers invented a new and visually splendid decorative style that combined the contrasting tastes of two nations. Departing from the conventional narrative that depicts dealers as purveyors of antiquarianism, Davis repositions them as innovators who were key to transforming old art objects from ancien régime France into cherished “antiques” and, equally, as creators of new and modified French-inspired furniture, bronze work, and porcelain. The resulting old, new, and reconfigured objects merged aristocratic French eighteenth-century taste with nineteenth-century British preference, and they were prized by collectors, who displayed them side by side in palatial interiors of the period. The Tastemakers analyzes dealer-made furnishings from the nineteenth-century patron’s perspective and in the context of the interiors for which they were created, contending that early dealers deliberately formulated a new aesthetic with its own objects, language, and value. Davis examines a wide variety of documents to piece together the shadowy world of these dealers, who emerge center stage as a traders, makers, and tastemakers.
On summer nights on downtown Los Angeles's Bunker Hill, Grand Performances presents free public concerts for the people of the city. A hip hop orchestra, a mariachi musician, an Afropop singer, and a Chinese modern dance company are just a few examples of the eclectic range of artists employed to reflect the diversity of LA itself. At these concerts, shared experiences of listening and dancing to the music become sites for the recognition of some of the general aspirations for the performances, for Los Angeles, and for contemporary public life. In Sound, Space, and the City, Marina Peterson explores the processes—from urban renewal to the performance of ethnicity and the experiences of audiences—through which civic space is created at downtown performances. Along with archival materials on urban planning and policy, Peterson draws extensively on her own participation with Grand Performances, ranging from working in an information booth answering questions about the artists and the venue, to observing concerts and concert-goers as an audience member, to performing onstage herself as a cellist with the daKAH Hip Hop orchestra. The book offers an exploration of intersecting concerns of urban residents and scholars today that include social relations and diversity, public space and civic life, privatization and suburbanization and economic and cultural globalization. At a moment when cities around the world are undertaking similar efforts to revitalize their centers, Sound, Space, and the City conveys the underlying tensions of such projects and their relevance for understanding urban futures.
A riveting and superbly illustrated account of the enigmatic House Beautiful editor’s profound influence on mid-century American taste From 1941 to 1964, House Beautiful magazine’s crusading editor-in-chief Elizabeth Gordon introduced and promoted her vision of “good design” and “better living” to an extensive middle-class American readership. Her innovative magazine-sponsored initiatives, including House Beautiful’s Pace Setter House Program and the Climate Control Project, popularized a “livable” and decidedly American version of postwar modern architecture. Gordon’s devotion to what she called the American Style attracted the attention of Frank Lloyd Wright, who became her ally and collaborator. Gordon’s editorial programs reshaped ideas about American living and, by extension, what consumers bought, what designers made, and what manufacturers brought to market. This incisive assessment of Gordon’s influence as an editor, critic, and arbiter of domestic taste reflects more broadly on the cultures of consumption and identity in postwar America. Nearly 200 images are featured, including work by Ezra Stoller, Maynard Parker, and Julius Shulman. This important book champions an often-neglected source—the consumer magazine—as a key tool for deepening our understanding of mid-century architecture and design.