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THE MAD MEN OF MID-CENTURY MODERN DESIGN

21 Jun

Of course, we all know I love iconic mid-century design, with these being my top 10 items.  So it goes without saying that when my brother pointed me to this post from The Selvegde Yard from a few years back, I swooned.  All my men.  On one page.  Heavenly.

moderndesigners-july-1961-playboy

George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames and Jens Risom      Playboy Magazine, July 1961.

For fans of Mid-Century modern design, this classic image above from Playboy, July 1961 is like the Holy Grail.  Design masters & fellow peers in their prime, beautifully captured in a time that was aesthetically crisp, uncluttered and innovative.

Bench by George Nelson, 1946.

george nelson bench

Introduced in 1946 the Nelson platform bench was part of George Nelson’s first collection for Herman Miller and still stands as a benchmark of modern design. Like much of Nelson’s work, the platform bench has clean, rectilinear lines, reflecting his architectural background and his insistence on what he calls “honest” design–that is, making an honest visual statement about an object’s purpose.

Living Room by Edward Wormley, 1953.

Edward Wormley

Edward J Wormley was a master of modern design with the creative ability to integrate international design philosophies into the American lifestyle.  In his own words– “Modernism means freedom—freedom to mix, to choose, to change, to embrace the new but to hold fast to what is good.”

*

Tulip Chair by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, 1956.

tulip chair knoll

The Tulip chair was designed for the Knoll company of New York City primarily as a chair to match the complementary dining table. The chair has the smooth lines of modernism and is experimental with materials, and is considered a classic of industrial design.

Diamond Lounge Chair by Harry Betoia for Knoll, 1950.

harry bertoia diamond chair knoll

Harry Bertoia’s 1950 experiment with bending metal rods into practical art produced a revered collection of seating, including the exquisite Large Diamond chair. Innovative, comfortable and strikingly handsome, the chair’s delicate filigree appearance belies its strength and durability. In Bertoia’s own words, “If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes through them.”

The Lounge Chair (and ottoman) by Ray & Charles Eames for Herman Miller, 1956.

eames-chair-herman-miller

The Eames Lounge Chair and ottoman, correctly titled Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671) were released in 1956 after years of development by designers Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company. It was the first chair the Eames designed for a high-end market. These furnishings are made of molded plywood and leather. Examples of these furnishings are part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Jens Risom chair, 1942.

jensrisomchair1943

This chair, of simple wood construction using surplus military webbing, was designed by Jens Risom for Hans Knoll, before Risom entered the Army during World War II. It was the basis for Knoll’s first line of products introduced in 1942, virtually the only modern furniture available during the war in the US, and was patented in 1945.

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6 Responses to “THE MAD MEN OF MID-CENTURY MODERN DESIGN”

  1. Stacey June 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    All my fav’s! I agree with Dana… it’s always easy on the eyes. Bless this folks for giving us so much to swoon over! Brandy, is there a piece of furniture that you’re dying to have one day? Would love to know what your little heart desires. 🙂 Fun!

    • Brandy June 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

      Oh gosh, Stacey. There isn’t just one. My top three would be…Eames lounge chair (black leather with walnut, in case you want to get me one), Nelson bench and bubble lamp. That’s what my little heart desires.

      • Stacey June 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

        I’ll be on the look out for the Eames Lounger Chair for you! Ha Ha. All great choices!!

      • Brandy June 21, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

        If anyone can find it, you can!

  2. Dana@Mid2Mod June 21, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    That’s such a wonderful photo of “the guys.” I never get tired of looking at it. We recently sold a pair of the C140 chairs that Jens Risom is posing with. They had been perfectly restored, right down to the exact fabric and cane used on the originals. We had them displayed with a framed copy of the page from Playboy, which the buyer insisted on purchasing too. Ya just gotta love it!

    • Brandy June 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      Right, Dana. I think it is definitely my kind of porn. 🙂

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