Book Review: Season's Gleamings - The Art of the Aluminum Christmas Tree

Book Review: Season's Gleamings - The Art of the Aluminum Christmas Tree

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Maxwell Ryan
Dec 23, 2005
Aluminum Christmas trees are finally ready for their close-up, and a new book ENTIRELY devoted to the fabulous design possibility of these forgotten trees hit a chord with us. Written and photographed by John Shimon and Julie Lindemann, who have collected more than 40 of these trees (as well as the stories that come with them), Season's Gleamings is a lovely little tour down memory lane to a time when aluminum was a new material, representing the limitless possibility of our collective future, and real Christmas trees weren't the only fashion. Some of you may remember this was nogged (news + log) by House & Home in December. They liked it too and devoted a big spread to the book. Here's a clip: "Aluminum Christmas trees seemed to be at every rummage sale when we first returned to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, in 1989. Most of them were made here in the 1960's, and they stayed close to home. The trees, in their faded boxes, were usually hidden under a table of old tools and priced $1.

We'd grown up with the trees, but had always found them unsettling alien. Grandma Shimon had two in her farmhouse in rural Manitowoc County. Referred to as her "artificial trees," they's been given to her by a niece who worked at Aluminum Specialty, the Manitowoc company that first mass-produced them. Sometime in the 1970s, she was coaxed into switching to a real "real" tree. Still, the silver aluminum trees made occasional appearances in the 1990s."
Season's Gleamings is available from Amazon for $11.53.

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