Homeowners Guide by Elsi Vassdal Ellis

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The suburbs have been the object of much examination and criticism, most of it culturally condescending, portraying the suburb and the suburbanite as the epitome of "crass commercial culture and the death of sophisticated, high-brow civilized living." The suburbs inspired many doctoral dissertations, academic presentations, papers, and books by assistant professors in their pursuit of tenure. The suburbs also became the focus of novelists and feminists who made them the scapegoats for all the ills of society. A low resolution online Levittown Homeowner's Guide inspired my examination of the first mid-century Levittown on Long Island. That exploration led to the discovery that it wasn't the first suburb on the island. Those wealthy robber barons were the first to move out of the city to establish a low-density suburb on prime real estate at the turn of the century. The similarities and differences of the two suburban communities are compared in this altered and enhanced guide.

Artist Bio

Elsi Vassdal Ellis has been teaching design production and book arts at Western Washington University since 1977. She established EVE Press in 1983 with her first offset edition; letterpress in 1990; and digital in 1996. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is housed in many public and private collections. Since 1983 she has produced over 135 editions and 127 unique books employing a variety of reproduction techniques and materials. Her work is permanently housed in many public collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York City Public Library, Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Grabhorn Collection in the San Francisco Public Library, and Arts of the Book Collection in the Yale University Library.