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New York: A Mod Portrait of the City is an imaginative and beautiful travel guides
©New York: A Mod Portrait of the City illustrated by Vladimír Fuka and Zdenĕk Mahler, Universe Publishing, 2014.
NEW YORK, NY.- The newest addition to Rizzoli’s classic reprint collection, New York: A Mod Portrait of the City is more than a picture book—it is one of the most imaginative and beautiful travel guides ever written, and a charming companion for anyone journeying to the Big Apple. With 152 color illustrations by celebrated artist Vladímir Fuka and poetic text by Zdenĕk Mahler, the book covers everything from local history and culture to practical information such as a map of Central Park, advice about the subway, and directions to all five boroughs.

New York: A Mod Portrait of the City was first published in Czechoslavakia in 1968, but when Fuka fled to America the book was pulped by the secret police. The book was all but forgotten until Mahler’s college-age grandson found the manuscripts in the attic and implored him to re-publish, nearly 50 years later.

Starting at Eero Saarinen’s TWA terminal at JFK, Fuka and Mahler take the reader on an circuit all over the city from down in the Stock Exchange, up to the Flatiron Building, over to Lincoln Center, across Central Park, to the Guggenheim, through Queens and all the way down to Coney Island, with many, many stops along the way. It is New York expressed through its most iconic features— it’s slew of yellow taxi cabs, six different types of fire hydrants, thousands of DONT WALK signs, and hundreds and hundreds of water towers. While the illustrations and punchy graphics may serve as a time capsule taking us back to midcentury NYC, certain elements have been updated to keep the book relevant—the book now lists the Freedom Tower as the tallest in New York, for example, and estimates the population of the city at 8 million as of 2000.

New York: A Mod Portrait of the City may be a very playful portrayal of the city, but the real achievement how the book really touches the heart and soul of the city, and the way it will transport a native New Yorker back to their early years as a child of the city, and for those who’ve come to adopt the city as their home, this book will ignite the same exhilaration and enchantment they felt upon arriving here for the very first time.

Vladimír Fuka (1926-1977) is a Czech illustrator graphic artist, painter, and sculptor. In the 1950s and 60s, Fuka created a number of innovative books for both children and adults and has won numerous awards. Zdenĕk Mahler is a writer of books for children and adults, and screenplays for theater, film, and television. He was an advisor in the preparations of Milos Forman’s film Amadeus and Goya’s Ghosts, and has been a writer and moderator of popular educational programs.






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March 2, 2014

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New York: A Mod Portrait of the City is an imaginative and beautiful travel guides

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