Wayne Thom: Photographing the Late Modern Emily Bills

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The first monograph of photographer Wayne Thom, whose documentation of Late Modern architecture constitutes an architectural/visual archive unlike any other.

A crucial primer to late-twentieth-century Modernism, this monograph devoted to Wayne Thom chronicles his photographic practice and the architectural and urban environment in which he worked. An innovative chronicler of the booming West Coast urbanism of the 1960s and 70s, Thom’s photographs of key projects by path-breaking architecture firms such as William Pereira & Associates, Edward Durell Stone, SOM, Gio Ponti, John Portman, I. M. Pei, and A. Quincy Jones helped establish the idea of cool architectural glamour of the era.

Raised in Hong Kong, Thom moved to California in the mid-1960s and trained in the technical craftsmanship of photography, adept at harnessing natural light for both interior and exterior compositions. He soon began working with the figures who would become his clients and benefactors, most importantly William Pereira and A. Quincy Jones, a prolific architect and Dean of the School of Architecture at USC.

As Emily Bills critically assess Thom’s career, she demonstrates that his photography became inseparable from Late Modernism in the popular imagination, a period of architectural production that ran from the late 1960s through the 1980s. Wayne Thom: Photographing the Late Modern is a celebration of this key architectural photographer and a unique chronicle of the works of this transformative period of architectural expression.

Specifications:

  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 279 x 229 mm (11 x 9 in)
  • Pages: 240 pp
  • Illustrations: 225 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781580935579c

Wayne Thom was born in Shanghai in 1933. His work, which spans five decades, documents modern architecture throughout the Western United States and the Pacific Rim, with the bulk of his work documenting the greater Los Angeles area.

Emily Bills is an author, curator, and faculty at Woodbury University. Among other books she has authored, edited, and contributed to, she is coauthor of California Captured: Mid-Century Modern Architecture, Marvin Rand (Phaidon, 2018).