Icons in the New England Landscape

People / Places / Products / August 23, 2011

If you’re going to publish a book on New England iconography, why not reach for the stars and get Norm Abram of “New Yankee Workshop” to write the foreword?

That’s author Bruce Irving’s logic for his new book, anyway.

It’s likely a strong strategy for the award-winning producer of “This Old House,” too.  Between the two of them, along with photographer Greg Premu’s crisp and compelling, purpose-shot work, Irving’s “New England Icons” looks like a winner.

Irving has been writing for Design New England magazine for the past four years, and has gathered a compilation of 23 essays, along with photos to match.  The book New England Icons: Shaker Villages, Saltboxes, Stone Walls and Steeples, at 110 pages, will retail at $19.95 when it hits the market in September.

“I wanted to share the backstory on topics from stone walls to sugar houses to fireplaces to the shingle style,” he said.  “It’s for those who live here or come here as tourists – it should resonate with those who see these things every day, or for the first time.”

It’s his first book, and a hybrid between a coffee table book and something a New England aficionado might want to carry around.  “I had a very interesting collection of stories, he said.   “Magazine writing is good, but perishable, so putting it into a book seemed like a good idea.”

And if something is defined as iconic when it summarizes the essence of a place, then each of the subjects in his book is, he said “an iteration of something with a birthplace in New England – something that was raised right here.”

It’s a region of the country that might be a little rocky, with a tough climate at times, but it’s still home, even for those who left years ago.

“It stays with you as the launch point,” he said.

For more on “New England Icons,” go to http://www.bruceirving.biz/blog/new-england-icons-coming-out-this-september/

 

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Michael Welton




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