Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
The mall near Mat thew Newton's childhood home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was one of the state's first enclosed shopping malls. Like all malls in their heyday, this one was a climate-controlled pleasuredome where strangers converged. It boasted waterfalls, fish ponds, an indoor ice skating rink larger than Rockefeller Center's, and a monolithic clock tower illuminated year-round beneath a canopy of interconnected skylights. It also became the backdrop for filmmaker George A. Romero's zombie opus Dawn of the Dead.
Part memoir and part case study, Shopping Mall examines the modern mythology of the mall and shows that, more than a collection of stores, it is a place of curiosity, ritual, and fantasy.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
About the Author
Matthew Newton is Associate Editor at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His work has been published by the Oxford American, the Atlantic's CityLab, Forbes, the Rumpus, Guernica, and Spin.