Manhole Covers by Mimi Melnick

Manhole Covers by Mimi Melnick

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A poetic study of a singular form of urban industrial art and its place in American culture.

Description

Details

They lie underfoot, embellished and gleaming. They seal off and provide entry to an underground world of conduits, water mains, power lines, and sewers. They appear by the thousands in our cities, but very few people ever look at them or think about them as art. At once completely ordinary and totally unexpected, manhole covers present an infinite variety of design in the commonplace as well as a record of defunct utility companies, forgotten business firms, and obsolete foundries. Manhole Covers documents this singular form of urban industrial art and its place in American culture. Mimi and Robert Melnick first revealed their obsession with street hardware twenty years ago in a remarkable little book called Manhole Covers of Los Angeles (1974). Printed in a small format and a limited edition, it quickly went out of print and is now a scarce collector's item. But that was just an introduction to their larger project, which has come to fruition in this book of 200 photographs and an extended narrative documenting manhole covers throughout the United States and discussing the history of their use, manufacture, and function. A subject that at first seems straightforward and commonplace becomes redolent and poetic in the Melnicks' hands, for their hieroglyphic reading of manhole covers reveals a chapter of urban history that can only be recovered from the logos and markings of these early disks. There are square lids, convex lids, perforated lids. And the older ones wear an astonishingly diverse range of anything-but-blank faces expressed in raised crosses, waffle grids, cut-out diamonds, radial stars, floral patterns, and honeycomb treads. The diversity of design corresponds to an equally diverse typology of form and function, as indicated by their evocative labels: handholes, vents, coalholes, grates, lampholes, storm drains, steam covers, meter lids, traffic buttons.

Additional Information

Additional Information

SKU GOR002349589
Title Manhole Covers
Author By (author) Mimi Melnick
Condition VERYGOOD
Binding Type Hardback
Publisher MIT Press Ltd
Year Published 1994
Number of Pages 274
ISBN 10 0262133024
ISBN 13 9780262133029
Edition N/A
Prizes N/A
Cover Note: Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual cover or edition may vary.
Note: This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.
Description

Details

They lie underfoot, embellished and gleaming. They seal off and provide entry to an underground world of conduits, water mains, power lines, and sewers. They appear by the thousands in our cities, but very few people ever look at them or think about them as art. At once completely ordinary and totally unexpected, manhole covers present an infinite variety of design in the commonplace as well as a record of defunct utility companies, forgotten business firms, and obsolete foundries. Manhole Covers documents this singular form of urban industrial art and its place in American culture. Mimi and Robert Melnick first revealed their obsession with street hardware twenty years ago in a remarkable little book called Manhole Covers of Los Angeles (1974). Printed in a small format and a limited edition, it quickly went out of print and is now a scarce collector's item. But that was just an introduction to their larger project, which has come to fruition in this book of 200 photographs and an extended narrative documenting manhole covers throughout the United States and discussing the history of their use, manufacture, and function. A subject that at first seems straightforward and commonplace becomes redolent and poetic in the Melnicks' hands, for their hieroglyphic reading of manhole covers reveals a chapter of urban history that can only be recovered from the logos and markings of these early disks. There are square lids, convex lids, perforated lids. And the older ones wear an astonishingly diverse range of anything-but-blank faces expressed in raised crosses, waffle grids, cut-out diamonds, radial stars, floral patterns, and honeycomb treads. The diversity of design corresponds to an equally diverse typology of form and function, as indicated by their evocative labels: handholes, vents, coalholes, grates, lampholes, storm drains, steam covers, meter lids, traffic buttons.
Additional Information

Additional Information

SKU GOR002349589
Title Manhole Covers
Author By (author) Mimi Melnick
Condition VERYGOOD
Binding Type Hardback
Publisher MIT Press Ltd
Year Published 1994
Number of Pages 274
ISBN 10 0262133024
ISBN 13 9780262133029
Edition N/A
Prizes N/A
Cover Note: Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual cover or edition may vary.
Note: This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.