Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture

ARGH. I just spent an hour crafting a post about this book and it’s gone. Instead, all I have energy for is to just copy/paste some of the text that I found interesting. William Leach’s book covers the beginning of consumer culture, 1880-1930, with specific interest in window displays and the artistic merit therein.


Max Weber’s Chicago experience:

Writers, including Henry James, Willa Cather, Edna Ferber, and Dreiser, on shop windows:

Frank Baum’s trade journal about window dressing:

Hired window gawkers!

Covered windows in Sunday:

Department stores, not museums, patronized modern art:

Joseph Urban, Austrian immigrant:

Georgia O’Keeffe, Norman Bel Geddes, Boardman Robinson: