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Retro: A Guide to the Mid-20th Century Design Revival


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Retro may be cool, but why are we now in the middle of a love affair with objects and designs from the mid-twentieth century? What unique qualities do they share that make them so special now? Using one of the most spectacular displays of retro objects ever assembled, and covering all the bases – furniture, fashion, ceramics, technology, metal, graphics, plastic and glass – twentieth-century expert Adrian Franklin provides the answers.

Spanning the period from the 1950s to the 1980s and beyond, and with international coverage, Adrian identifies the designers, manufacturers, brands, innovations, technologies and materials that transformed the world and still cast their magic spell. It also contains 160 objects from the Powerhouse Museum collection and contributions from 11 Powerhouse Museum curators that give a rare and valuable glimpse into the making of an aesthetic movement like retro. Authoritative, entertaining and beautiful, Retro is itself an object to be treasured.

Additional information

Weight 1.4 kg
Dimensions 24.5 x 27.5 x 1.7 cm
SKU: MAAS-PUB-0255 Category:


Adrian Franklin



Date Of Publication

October 2011


New South Books


New South Books in association with Powerhouse Publishing

Book Format


Number Of Pages



over 400 colour illustrations


245 x 275 mm