Cape Cod Modern in the Press
"Cape Cod Modern reveals one of the East Coast's best-kept architectural secrets: an enclave of disarmingly unpretentious houses . . . . In this rich cultural setting, left-leaning figures . . . dined on plywood tables, bathed nude in brisk waters on principle and exercised elastic morals among the unpainted two-by-fours. It was a summer camp for consenting, distinctly un-Puritanical intellectuals. And the party needn't be over."
— Joseph Giovannini, New York Times (Home)
"A compendious architectural history of these little known buildings, the book is also a document of a singular artistic and intellectual society in formation."
— Guy Trebay, New York Times (Style)
"For nearly four decades, Cape Cod was a haven where two different sets of designers — European modernists and local nonconformists — found common ground, working hard during the daytime, then repairing to each other's houses for cocktails and bonfires at night. . . . Full of fascinating primary research . . . Cape Cod Modern opens a window onto a part of Cape life that has been secreted away in the woods for years, partly because that's what its creators intended."
— Carol Kino, WSJ magazine, Wall Street Journal
"Aficionados as well as those curious about these architectural gems will be interested in Cape Cod Modern, a name-dropping beauty that covers not only the designers of the odd-shaped, rustic 'summer camps in the air,' as the coauthors call them, but their parties and intellectual ferment."
— Jan Gardner, Boston Globe
"'Walter Gropius was tired.' That is the fabulous first sentence to this engaging book. . . . A sweeping celebration of modernism anchored by a strong sense of place, Cape Cod Modern is a must-read for anyone interested in architecture, maritime history, artistic communities, the Cape itself, Yankee do-it-yourself determination and Thoreauvian love of the land. Without McMahon and Cipriani's efforts this mostly unknown chapter in the history of modern architecture would’ve been forever lost."
— Gwendolyn Horton, Design Within Reach
"This colorful history expands our knowledge of some important figures in American modernism, and shows the influence of American vernacular architecture on some sophisticated European modernists. The authors draw on the building fabric itself as well as on interviews with the now-grown children of the original residents, and they manage to give the material drawn from books and archives the same immediacy as their original research."
— Jayne Merkel, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
"Vacationers who frequent the Outer Cape may not recognize the (intentionally) hidden or, in several cases, derelict remains of a remarkable, little-known chapter in American architecture, revealed in . . . this thoughtful examination. . . . Most fascinating are the pocket bios of the black sheep Boston Brahmins and talented amateurs who pioneered modern architecture on the Cape, and the Bauhaus refugees and other European émigrés who made the woods of Wellfleet a laboratory for modernism from the '40s through the '60s."
— Christopher Lyon, Bookforum
"More than just a paean to an architectural style, Cape Cod Modern illuminates a rich, under-examined moment — from 1938 to 1977 — when the towns of the Outer Cape drew a hyper-creative crowd of design-besotted artists and intellectuals. . . . The book traces the flowering of a distinctly regional modernism marked not by flashy commissions but instead by deeply personal spaces meant for repose."
— Elle Decor
"Intriguing and meticulously researched survey of modernism by the sea."
— Mayer Rus, Architectural Digest
"A vibrant cultural history that considers how time, place, and intersecting lives coalesced to generate the built environment. . . . the pages of Cape Cod Modern brim with captivating images, original scholarship, unexpected legacies, and humorous anecdotes. . . . [these] cultural memories have been preserved with great dedication and joy."
— Susan Morgan, Modern magazine
"Almost 80 years [after Gropius and Breuer discovered the area], Peter McMahon and Christine Cipriani documented the scene that flourished around the houses for their evocative new book, Cape Cod Modern."
— Condé Nast Traveler
"Much-needed study of a house style . . . that is a significant part of the region's architectural legacy. [The authors have] given us a fascinating, well-illustrated, and handsomely produced history of the Cape's remarkable contribution to Modern architecture."
— William Morgan, Design New England
"The story of these structures, including a terrific natural and cultural history of the Cape, is lovingly detailed in the book Cape Cod Modern."
— Anthony Flint, Metropolis online
"A perfectly considered piece of architectural publishing."
— Wallpaper ("The top 10 new tomes to add to your shelves")
“Captures the history, the innovation, and the spirit of the place we live in, by focusing not only on the modernists' houses . . . but the lives they lived and the free-spirited, nature-respecting community they created. A thrilling read, chock-full of a lifestyle that’s gone, but that you can see little pieces of.”
— Ira Wood, WOMR, Provincetown
"In Cape Cod Modern, a meticulously researched, lavishly illustrated book, [these dwellings] get a richly deserved reconsideration. Serge Chermayeff's mini-biography is one of several that give the book its piquant flavor, elevating it beyond a mere compendium of projects and buildings . . . [to] give readers a nuanced sense of the personalities behind the movement."
— Joseph P. Kahn, ArchitectureBoston
— Harvard magazine
"McMahon and Cipriani's depth of coverage, the first of its kind, does a great service to the architectural history of the Cape."
— John R. DaSilva, Provincetown Arts
"Glorious book, a must-have."
— Potterton Books, New York
"This is a design book about the architecture of midcentury residences of Cape Cod, which is great all by itself. But what I loved most about it were the carefully researched and reported stories about the lives of the people who lived there. . . . The homes endure on their sites, but the lifestyles remain only in the stories reported in books like this one."
— Diesel: A Bookstore, Oakland et al., Calif.