“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 evolution of a geographical region was more rapid and transformative than that of the American West at mid-twentieth century. NEW WEST explores the innovations that shaped this unique architectural landscape throughout the ages of steam, steel, oil and information, utilizing the vibrant and compelling images of the color-saturated early social media art form of the Mid-Century Linen Post Card.

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 postcards 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

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The Wagener-Erganian Collection

The Wagener-Erganian Collection is a collection of 20th century visual arts. It includes more than 5,000 mid-century Curt Teich linen post cards of the American West, an innovative and popular hybrid of photography, painting, and printing, additional works on paper including more than 300 architectural photographs from Julius Shulman, as well as select correspondence and photographs from New Topographics photographers Joe Deal and Robert Adams.

Speedway, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah 1951
Yellowstone Park, Wyoming, 1935
Gold Dredge, California, 1943
Planetarium, L.A., California 1938
Aquaplaning, California 1935
Rainbow Bridge, Utah, 1943
Boulder Dam, Arizona/Nevada
Two great concrete spillways, each big enough to float the largest battleship in the world, are molded into the rock walls of Black Canyon. Each spillway is of sufficient capacity to receive the entire flow of the Colorado River at its greatest record flood. Over the Arizona spillway passes the surfaced highway on a graceful concrete arch bridge, leading to Kingman, Arizona and other cities south and east.
Boulder Dam, Arizona / Nevada, 1936
Washington State Capitol, 1942
Shasta Dam, California, 1940
CAHUENGA FREEWAYHollywood, CaliforniaOne of the major networks of the Los Angeles system of super highways. This Pass forms the Gateway to Hollywood from the famous San Fernando Valley and points north.7B-H2072
Hollywood Freeway, California, 1947
LOS ANGELES UNION AIR TERMINALBurbank, CaliforniaThis airport, in the northwest corner of Burbank, was built in 1930. By 1934, the airport had become Los Angeles' primary airport known as Union Air Terminal. Sixteen airline departures a day were scheduled out of Burbank in the 1930s: eight on United Airlines, five on Western Airlines and three on TWA.6A-H2625
Terminal, Burbank, California, 1936
Palm Springs, California, 1948
Palm Springs, California, 1940
San Francisco, California, 1932
Wilshire Bvld, L.A., California, 1941
Palm Springs, California, 1938
THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARDHollywood, CaliforniaThe grand opening of a new feature movie gets a big 'send-off' on the first showing. The attendance of featured movie stars, producers and guests make this a 'gala' event.1A-H347
Hollywood Boulevard, California, 1931
SUBMARINE GARDENSSanta Catalina, CaliforniaThe famous Submarine Gardens are seen from glass bottom boats, whose windows reveal myriads of fish, colored under-sea vegetation, and give a never-to-be-forgotten picture of life at the bottom of the ocean.1A-H423
Submarine Gardens, California, 1931
World's Fair, San Francisco Bay, 1937
MULTNOMAH STADIUMPortland, OregonThe stadium was built in 1926 for $502,000, by the Multnomah Athletic Club, who named it Multnomah Civic Stadium. The site is used for college football, cricket matches and greyhound racing.0A-5302
Stadium, Portland, Oregon, 1930
Las Vegas, Nevada, 1954
The world's largest Casinos are all in two blocks on fabulous Fremont Street. Wine, dine, or play twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year. Atomic detonation shown was 65 miles distant. From the 'Up and Atom' City.
Fremont St, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1954

The Authors

Wolfgang Wagener

WOLFGANG WAGENER is a German-American real estate development adviser, architect, and author 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, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and is a lifetime member of the Society of Architectural Historians, Southern California Chapter, having followed his passion for mid-century modernism from Western Europe to the western coast of California.

Leslie Erganian

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.

The Creators

NEW WEST is a collaboration between WOWA in California and HIRMER in Germany, one of the most prestigious international publishers of books on art, photography and architecture.

ISBN 13: 978-3-7774-3189-5 Specs: Cloth | 304 pages | 400 color plates Dimensions: 11.5 x 9 inches | 29,2 x 22,9 cm Price: US$ 65.00

Press, Events, Awards

"New West: Lessons from Mid-Century" LAEP Spring Speaker Series, Utah State University, February 2022

"New West" Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACAM, Zoom Presentation, June 2021

"Authors on Architecture: Wagener & Erganian’s New West" SAH/SCC Zoom Presentation, February 2021

"PubWest Book Design Awards 2020 GOLD" NEW WEST Received 5 Gold PubWest Book Design Awards 2020 by PubWest, February 2021

"NEW WEST Shares a Picture Postcard Perfect World" reviewed by Artifice, published by JustLuxe, September 2020

"Gut 500 Postkarten" ("About 500 Postcards") reviewed by Freddy Langer, published by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 2020

“California Travel: A Book Review” reviewed by Pikke Allen, published by Kaleidoskope Magazine, May 2020

"NEW WEST: Innovating at the Intersection" Hennessey & Ingalls, Los Angeles, Discussion & Book Signing, March 2020

“NEW WEST" reviewed by Julie D. Taylor, published by Society of Architectural Historians, Southern California Chapter News, February 2020

"NEW WEST: Innovating at the Intersection” reviewed by Dan McClure, published by the Art Library Society of North America, January 2020

"NEW WEST” Book Passage, San Francisco, Presentation, January 2020

“Tief im Westen" (“Deep in the West”) written by Alexander Gutzmer, published by Baumeister, December 2019

"The Mid-Century Linen Post Card Makes for a New Book, Cut from a Different Cloth” written by Jenn Thornton, published by John Wayne Foundation, November 2019

“New West" written by Mario Koch, published by Amerindian Research, Zeitschrift für indianische Kulturen von Alaska bis Feuerland, Band 14/4, October 2019.

“Der ausgemalte Westen" (“The Painted West”) published by 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”) written by Karlheinz Schneidel, published by Amazon, October 2019

"Eroberung der Vereinigten Staaten” (“Conquering the United States”) written by Stefan Fischer, published by Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Reise, September 2019

"The New West by Wolfgang Wagener and Leslie Erganian” published by Literaturzeitschrift: Magazine for Literature, September 2019

"In 500 Postkarten durch die Neue Welt” (“Around the New World in 500 Post Cards”) published by 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”) Published by 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”) published by BizTravel, August 2019

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