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Bombay Art Deco Architecture: A Visual Journey: 1930-1953 [Hardcover]

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Item description for Bombay Art Deco Architecture: A Visual Journey: 1930-1953 by Laura Cerwinske Navin Ramani...

Bombay Art Deco presents a treasury of Art Deco buildings comprising residential, commercial and civic architecture created during the glamorous and optimistic era of the mid 1930's and 1940's. The architects, a small list of first generation Indian architects and builders, were mostly educated in English schools and trained in western architectural traditions, if not actually in the West. Impatient with the British reluctance to shed the Gothic and Indo - Saracenic architectural styles that had dominated Imperial Bombay's urban landscape, these visionaries were determined to imbue the city with a new modern style. That style shares its provenance with the Art Deco architecture of Miami Beach, termed Tropical Deco by author Laura Cerwinske in her seminal 1981 book. Built in the same era, the Art Deco architecture of the two cities exhibits similar scale, geometry, tropical vocabulary, and love of romance.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   295
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 10" Height: 9.75"
Weight:   3.02 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 2007
Publisher   Roli Books
ISBN  8174364471  
ISBN13  9788174364470  

Availability  0 units.

More About Laura Cerwinske Navin Ramani

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Regional > Asian
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Schools, Periods & Styles > Modern
3Books > Subjects > History > Asia > India

Reviews - What do customers think about Bombay Art Deco Architecture: A Visual Journey: 1930-1953?

Bombay Art Deco  Dec 15, 2007
Myself and my wife have just bought an art deco apartment in Sydney's inner western suburbs where there was a proliferation of small (generally 4-8 residence) deco style blocks built through the 20's, 30's and early 40's. When we were searching out books to learn more about the style elsewhere in the world this book on Bombay Art Deco really stood out, partly because my wife is an early career South Asian historian (with a specialization on modern Delhi) and neither or us had any idea that there was this collection of buildings in Mumbai. Dehli has its own Art Deco architecture exemplified by buildings like the Imperial Hotel which is a mix of Art Deco luxory and imperial Raj projection of power. However the style in Bombay exemplified in this book looks like it's something different again; sub-tropical and closer to holly-bolly-wood glam in parts than imperial grandeur. We'll be traveling to Mumbai next October for the first time to see these buildings first hand and to take some photos - we reckon this book has given us some great ideas on where to go and what to look for.
Great, but....  Oct 26, 2007
This is a nice book (and a good value) but the only real connection between Bombay and Miami Beach is that the author lived in both places. Sure, both cities have Art Deco but as I looked through this I was startled that the authors tried to make a Miami Beach connection, when the buildings in Bombay appear to be "separated at birth" from places you see in London or Sydney. Have a look at the Victoria Coach Station in London and you'll see what I mean.

Of course this makes sense since India, Australia and New Zealand were all outposts of the British empire.
Beautiful Art Deco Bombay  Oct 25, 2007
A superb tribute to the whole art deco movement, this book is also a loving tribute to one evocative facet of Bombay,her art deco glory.

Excellent job Navin, brings back memories of those beautiful cinema halls where we would take in morning shows bunking off from college, walks along the Oval maidan (hearing Wilson Pickett at your place) and up Phirozeshah Mehta road and across Fountain to Rhythm House...past Dhanraj Mahal and into the Sea Lounge for endless refills of coffee patiently poured by Mr D'Souza until closing time.

One of those rare books that makes one say WHAT a city!!
Faded Eastern promise  Aug 1, 2007
Who would have thought that Bombay would have the largest concentration of Art Deco buildings outside of Miami Beach. There is a photo on pages 272-273 of Marine Drive, Bombay and you could be forgiven for thinking, at a quick glance, that this might be Ocean Drive, Miami. Navin Ramani reveals the background to this remarkable architectural heritage in the front of his book: the opening of the Suez Canal, a merchant class settling in Bombay, the city becomes the center of the Indian architectural profession and extensive land reclamation from 1929 all helped to create a unique Far Eastern Deco habitat.

The book's many photos show plenty of apartments and commercial buildings with their concrete curved lines, geometric floor patterns and streamlined appearance. It's unfortunate though that the photos also show plenty pipe-work and aircon units spoiling the external look of so many of them. It is the movie palaces that really show off the Deco style. The interiors of the five featured bubble over with streamline curves, recessed lighting and flamboyant marble floor patterns.

Ramani's book will surely be the definitive one about Bombay deco but I was rather disappointed with many of the author's photos. They lack a sharpness and the color is rather muted and dull. I became aware of this when I compared them with Arnold Schwartzman's clean, focused photos of Deco LAndmarks: Art Deco Gems of Los Angeles and in fact there is a good example of the photographic difference in Ramani's book on pages 256-257, on the left is a dull, flat photo of 63 Marine Drive, Bombay and the right a similar looking Hotel Victor in Miami but the photo is sharp, clean and colorful. Still, despite this Bombay Art Deco is certainly worth having if you love this exuberant architecture.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.

A Beautiful Visual Journey of Art Deco in Bombay and Miami Beach  Jul 16, 2007
Bombay Art Deco is a beautiful book in many ways. The colorful photos of the Art Deco buildings complement the well-written prose. Navin Ramani is the perfect person to write such a book. He grew up in a Bombay Art Deco building as a child and now lives in South Florida and has immersed himself Miami Beach Art Deco. He truly loves and respects the architecture and is an advocate for its preservation. He takes beautiful photos, too.

As a Miami Beach Art Deco guide myself, I loved the chapter on BoMi(BOmbay-MIami Beach), A Tale of Two subtropical Deco Cities. The chapter compares the similar climate, seaside geography, optimism and Hollywood ties of Bombay and Miami Beach. On one page is a Miami Beach landmark and on the facing page is a comparable Bombay landmark. The similarities are truly amazing and one could easily be interchanged with the other. For example, the Indian Merchants Chamber (1935-40) is juxtaposed to what is now Jerry's Famous Deli (1940). The caption is "Curves folding in on curves."

I recommend this book to anyone who likes Art Deco. AFter reading this book, you will want to travel to Bombay to see these buildings for yourself.

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