“This is a wonderful and wonder-filled book, an obvious labor of love. It mines the physical transformation of the West and it plumbs the depths of the West of our imagination with hope and clear eyes.”
—Ken Burns, filmmaker
By Wolfgang Wagener & Leslie Erganian
No geographical region has evolved more rapidly or profoundly than the American West around the mid-twentieth century. NEW WEST explores the innovations that shaped this unique architectural landscape throughout the ages of steam, steel, oil, and information, drawing on the compelling images and saturated colors of the midcentury linen post card—an early social media art form.
NEW WEST received five Gold 2020 PubWest Book Design Awards.
Judge’s Choice Award GOLD
Photography Book GOLD
Art Book GOLD
Historical Book GOLD
Cover Design GOLD
“Stunning in its visual display of information, intuitive in its navigation, and generous in every single way, the design of NEW WEST rewards the reader page after page. The printing is absolutely incredible, using the art of vintage linen post cards to create a textured, color-saturated vision of the American West that is both old and new at once. The harmony between the vision for the design and the technical aspects of the production is a beautiful thing to behold.”
—2020 PubWest Book Design Award Committee
The Wagener-Erganian Collection
The Wagener-Erganian Collection focuses on twentieth-century visual arts. It includes more than five thousand images of the American West produced by Curt Teich & Company in the form of linen post cards, an innovative hybrid of photography, painting, and printing that was popular around midcentury. Additional works on paper include more than three hundred architectural photographs from Julius Shulman, as well as select correspondence and photographs from New Topographics photographers Joe Deal and Robert Adams.
WOLFGANG WAGENER is a German-American real estate development adviser, architect, and author practicing in North America and Europe. His previous publications include the architectural monograph Raphael Soriano and Connected Real Estate: Essays from Innovators in Real Estate, Design, and Construction. He graduated with a PhD in architecture and engineering from RWTH Aachen University in Germany and obtained an advanced management degree in real estate from Harvard University. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the American Institute of Architects, and the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is also a lifetime member of the Society of Architectural Historians, Southern California Chapter, having followed his passion for midcentury modernism from Western Europe to the coast of California.
LESLIE ERGANIAN is an American artist and writer. Her hand-colored photographs are in the permanent collections of the California Museum of Photography and the Xerox Corporation. She contributed her design talents to the production of feature film projects for MGM, DreamWorks, Warner Bros., and Showtime. She has been a writer and television correspondent for NBC, Discovery, and Hallmark. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in art and design from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and obtained a Master of Fine Arts in film production from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her undergraduate studies under New Topographics photographer Joe Deal cultivated an egalitarian eye and a twin interest in the practice and history of photography. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
NEW WEST is a collaboration between WOWA in California and HIRMER Publishers in Germany, one of the most prestigious international publishers of books on art, photography, and architecture.
Press, Events, and Awards
“New West: Lessons from Mid-Century,” LAEP Spring Speaker Series, Utah State University, February 2022.
“New West,” Zoom presentation, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 2021.
“Authors on Architecture: Wagener & Erganian’s New West,” Zoom presentation, Society of Architectural Historians, Southern California Chapter, February 2021.
“PubWest Book Design Awards 2020 GOLD.” NEW WEST received five Gold PubWest Book Design Awards 2020 from PubWest, February 2021.
“NEW WEST Shares a Picture Postcard Perfect World,” review by Artifice, JustLuxe, September 2020.
“Gut 500 Postkarten” [About 500 post cards], review by Freddy Langer, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 2020.
“California Travel: A Book Review,” by Pikke Allen, Kaleidoskope Magazine, May 2020.
“NEW WEST: Innovating at the Intersection,” discussion and book signing, Hennessey & Ingalls, Los Angeles, March 2020.
“NEW WEST,” review by Julie D. Taylor, Society of Architectural Historians, Southern California Chapter newsletter, February 2020.
“NEW WEST: Innovating at the Intersection,” review by Dan McClure, Art Library Society of North America, January 2020.
“NEW WEST,” presentation, Book Passage, San Francisco, January 2020.
“Tief im Westen” [Deep in the West], by Alexander Gutzmer, Baumeister, December 2019.
“The Mid-Century Linen Post Card Makes for a New Book, Cut from a Different Cloth,” by Jenn Thornton, John Wayne Foundation, November 2019.
“New West,” by Mario Koch, Amerindian Research, Zeitschrift für indianische Kulturen von Alaska bis Feuerland, Band 14/4, October 2019.
“Der ausgemalte Westen” [The Painted West], Die Zeit, October 2019.
“Im Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten: Eine Reise in den ehemals Wilden Westen der USA” [In the country of unlimited possibilities: A journey through the former Wild West], by Karlheinz Schneidel, Amazon, October 2019.
“Eroberung der Vereinigten Staaten” [Conquering the United States], by Stefan Fischer, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, “Reise,” September 2019.
“The New West by Wolfgang Wagener and Leslie Erganian,” Literaturzeitschrift: Magazine for Literature, September 2019.
“In 500 Postkarten durch die Neue Welt” [Around the New World in 500 post cards], Moderne Regional, September 2019.
“Ich war Hier (Und du Nicht) Postkarten erzählen die Geschichte des Westens Amerikas” [I was here (and you weren’t) post cards tell the story of the American West], Fresko: Das Magazin fur Kultur- and Kunstgeniesser, September 2019.
“Reise durch das Amerika der 30er- bis 60er-Jahre” [Travels through America from the thirties to the sixties], BizTravel, August 2019.