Broken Glass: Mies Van Der Rohe, Edith Farnsworth, and the Fight Over a Modernist Masterpiece

Alex Beam (Author)

Product Details

$28.00  $25.76
Random House
Publish Date
March 17, 2020
5.7 X 8.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Alex Beam has written four nonfiction books, two of them New York Times Notable Books. Publishers Weekly named his most recent work, The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson and the End of a Beautiful Friendship, one of the best books of the year.


"An amazing story, brilliantly told . . . Alex Beam quickens your interest in every detail. His sensitive insights into architecture are matched by his feeling for psychology and for all the hilarious, petty, surprising minutiae of human relationships."--Sebastian Smee, Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic and author of The Art of Rivalry

"Alex Beam begins with a simple foundation--a man, a woman, and a house--out of which he constructs a nuanced biography of one of the twentieth century's most fascinating architects, a portrait of his brilliant and pioneering patron, and a dramatic tale of the impassioned battle over a work of art that consumed them both. Broken Glass is compelling from the first page as it chronicles, in delicious and sometimes hilarious detail, the mere mortals behind a Modern masterpiece."--Mary Gabriel, author of Ninth Street Women

"Just when we thought everything had been said . . . an impressively comprehensive and moving account of the flawed architect-client relationship (and probably more) that lead to the greatest architectural masterpiece of the twentieth century."--Reinier de Graaf, architect and author of Four Walls and a Roof

"The Farnsworth House occupies an essential place on architecture's time line--but in the able hands of Alex Beam, its backstory offers a drama worthy of Edward Albee. Drawing upon trial transcripts, memoirs, and generations of critical appraisals, Beam offers a richly detailed look at how an apparently simple commission evanesced into an enduring modernist landmark of glass and steel. Broken Glass leaves us pondering an intriguing paradox: How does one inhabit a work of art?"--Hugh Howard, author of Architecture's Odd Couple