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Thames & Hudson
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Biedermeier furniture and interior design are recognized today as the first great flowering of haute bourgeois taste in interior design. Biedermeier is a style with great range, from austere to sumptuous, but it is never ostentatious in its celebration of comfort, domestic intimacy, and practicality. Beginning in the early nineteenth century, these bourgeois ideals in design were pursued by a wide range of society from the Hapsburgs and Hohenzollern to the middle class, from Middle Europe to Italy, yet Biedermeier's innate classicism, its lyrical yet elegant forms, have made it an influential inspiration in our own time. The World of Biedermeier celebrates the elements of a wonderfully appealing style -- the furniture, decorative elements, paintings, crystal, porcelain, fabrics -- as no other recent book on furniture and design. Created out of an enraptured obsession with Biedermeier -- shared by Karl Kemp, the renowned antiques dealer, and Linda Chase, the noted interior designer and writer -- this book is an extraordinary paean to an irresistible style. The hundreds of brilliant color photographs by Lois Lammerhuber set a new standard for design and furniture photography, and the book has been opulently designed and produced. To experience the story of Biedermeier, we explore enchanting castles, royal residences, a Roman-inspired bathhouse, museum attics, and storage annexes in Vienna, Berlin, and elsewhere. Lammerhuber was the first photographer granted free access to the extraordinary holdings of the Hofmobiliendepot, the Imperial Furniture Collection in Vienna. Here too are the treasures of the Hofburg Silberkammer museum, plus features on the work of the great Biedermeierdesigners Joseph Danhauser and Karl Friedrich Schinkel. A chapter on current uses of Biedermeier illustrates the timeless quality of this style, from full traditional settings to the way that Biedermeier furniture looks fresh and alive in contemporary settings. An illustrated reference section will prove an indispensable guide to anyone interested in this rich homage to Middle European culture.