The publication of this collection of interdisciplinary scholarly essays, many of which were presented in a session organized by the book’s editor, Robin Schuldenfrei, at the 2010 conference of the Association of Art Historians, demonstrates just how far the historiography of midcentury modern architecture and material culture has come since the appearance of Thomas Hine’s groundbreaking Populuxe in 1986.1 In the more than twenty-five years that have elapsed since that lavishly illustrated text, replete with bold color images drawn from advertising, movies, and television, suggested to a wide readership that the field was worthy of both broad popular interest and in-depth scholarly study, investigators from a number of fields have contributed to the making of a richly detailed and critically complex historical picture of the period, its architecture, social history, and visual culture. Architectural history and design studies in this area, building on the foundation laid by the earliest...

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