Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag (Hardcover)
31 Objects from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Skira Rizzoli, 9780847843770, 48pp.
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Maira Kalman's exuberant illustrations and humorous commentary bring design history to life in this inspired ABC book that celebrates thirty-one objects from the Cooper Hewitt, in time for its long-awaited reopening. "A. Ah-ha There you Are." begins Maira Kalman's joyfully illustrated romp through the treasures of Cooper Hewitt's design collection. With her signature wit and warm humor, Kalman's ABC book introduces children and adults to the myriad ways design touches our lives. Posing the question "If you were starting a museum, what would you put in your collection?," Kalman encourages the reader to put pen to paper and send in personal letters--an intimate, interactive gesture to top off her unique tour of the world of design. Objects ranging from a thirteenth-century silk thinking cap to 1889 tin slippers with bows, all the way to Gerrit Rietveld's Zig-Zag chair are brought to colorful life. Kalman's hand-lettered text is whimsical and universal in turns, drawing lessons as easily from a worn old boot as a masterpiece of midcentury modernism. Irresistibly, we are led to agree, "Everything is design.
About the Author
Maira Kalman is the best-selling author of thirteen children's books and eight adult books. Among her adult classics are The Elements of Style, an illustrated edition of Strunk and White's timeless grammar guide, and two picture books of essays based on yearlong online columns for the New York Times, And the Pursuit of Happiness, and The Principles of Uncertainty. She is the "M" in M&Co, the revolutionary design firm founded by her late husband, Tibor Kalman, with whom she was a constant collaborator.