Furniture Design Rebels

I get a kick out of reading old magazine articles about modernist design; when the designers were seen as "rebels" and the pieces they created were quote, as "dubiously received as a visitor from mars". The following article titled "New Trends in Furniture: Modern Designers Change an Old Industry" appeared in the June 1949 issue of Kiplinger Magazine. An article about how Herman Miller built their success by "breaking rules", also appeared in the issue.

The following are a few of my favorite excerpts from the articles.
  • Writing of modernist furniture, "Some go into ecstasies about it. It's what they've always wanted and never found".
  • "The designers, manufacturers and retailers responsible for the trend are small fry. 'Contemporary' furniture is still just the tail on the dog, but the tail is beginning to wag the dog".
  • The Charles Eames chair has "rump appeal".
Click image of article for enlarged view, unless of course you are Steve Austin and have a "bionic" eye.

Mosaic Wall Panels III

I haven't come across many post-worthy mosaic panels lately, but I have spotted a few. One thing that I am beginning to notice after collecting a ton of images is that many pieces seem to have heavily-inspired "twin brothers".  It is hard to tell which piece spawned the others, but there is no mistaking the similarities. 

 eBay- set sold for $175

The same figure, but as gravel art. Was there a company that sold both mosaic and gravel art kits and used the same art for both products?  Or perhaps the designs were copied from a book that had mosaic patterns?

 This looks like an Evelyn Ackerman mosaic. eBay, sold for $198

Left: Betty Lou Parker, Jester, 1953, eBay.  Right: eBay- sold for $70 

Here are three "brothers" of the above mosaic.

 Regency style horse mosaic- eBay

eBay 8-11

A very similar gravel art piece. 

This piece owned by flickr's Chimay Bleue features the same art as the eBay piece? hmm

 Pacific Art and Crafts, Mosaic Pattern No. 7006 Bottles

Here is an example of a completed table using the above pattern, owned by flickr's Chimay Bleue.

Book Cover Art

I haven't posted book cover art in a while, so I thought it was time to share a few more of my favorites. I apologize to all the purists out there, but I have removed the text and cropped the images leaving just the art. I often do this with commercial art/illustration to isolate the image and remove the "commercial" aspect from the work; visualizing what the piece would look like as "fine art."

 Artist unknown, George Berkeley: Principles, Dialogues and Philosophical Correspondance, 1965. via

Ingrid Frostell, Sommargästerna, 1962. via Book Cover Lover

Rudolph deHarak, Cards of Identity, 1960. via 50 Watts

Edward McKnight Kauffer, Daily Herald "the Early Bird", 1918. via Storybird

Herbert Auchli, Graphis 69, Jan-Feb 1957. via Drawger

Artist unknown, The House of Fiction, c 1960. via Montague Projects

Franco Grignani?, L'Ufficio Moderno La Pubblicità, 1968. via Laura@PopDesign

Marc Devade, Paris Review 49, 1970. via Belacquashua

Artist unknown, Modern School Mathmatics, 1969. via Montague Projects

Artist unknown, Patterns of Exposition 7, c. 1980. via Montague Projects

Paul Rand, The Lost Steps, c. 1956. via Etsy

Barbara McPenkow, New Essays in Phenomenology, 1969. via Montague Projects

Robert Korn, Notes of an Apprenticeship, c. 1968. via Montague Projects

Raul Coronel Mural Saved!

Click photos for closer look.   Images courtesy eTruth

It looks as though this massive glazed stoneware mural designed by Raul Coronel for the pharmaceutical company of Miles Laboratories in 1965, will be saved from the wrecking ball. The mural which measures 70 feet in length by 5-7 feet in height is constructed of 4000 individually hand-formed pieces and depicts the history of medicine. The mural was fabricated in Coronel's California studio and shipped to Elkhart, Indiana where it was installed by ceramist Brent Bennett in the cafeteria of the "Bayer Building" in 1966. Thankfully Elkhart's Mayor Dick Moore recognized the historical and artistic value of the mural and has urged the city council to appropriate the $8,500 needed to remove/relocate the piece before the building is demolished.

I became aware of the mural after a reader posted a comment on my Raul Coronel post; asking for information on the murals value and how it could be safely removed. In response, I sent an email to Brent Bennet, who I knew worked a lot with Coronel, in hopes that he could lend some insight. It turns out that Brent actually worked on the piece and was able to assist the City Officials on the matter! You can see his response in the comments section of the post here.  Also be sure to see my post on Brent's work here and have a look at his website here.

Related links:
Go to- eTruth article on preserving the mural.
Go to- WNDU news coverage of the mural including video (see video icon/link near top of page)

Movements & Themes: Ceramic Birds

Today's "Movements & Themes" post features another very popular theme for decorative ceramics during the mid-century; birds, birds and more birds.

The quintessential mid-century ceramic birds by Aldo Londi for Bitossi, Italy.

Illegible signature on this piece, looks like Moliarik? via eBay

Bitossi, Italy. via Monument, 1stDibs

Bitossi, Italy. via Monument 1stDibs

Bitossi for Raymor? via Dixon Lane Antiques, 1stDibs

Henrik (Henry) Clante, bird vase, Denmark. via Objects in the Loft, 1stDibs

Henrik (Henry) Clante, bird vessels, Denmark. via Freeforms USA

Ashtrays by John Clappison for Hornsea, England. via Flickr

Salt & Pepper bird shakers by John Clappison for Hornsea, England. via Flickr

Bird vase by Jean Claude Malarmey, Vallauris, France, c.1950's . via Paris 1stDibs

Marianne Starck for Michael Anderson & Sons, marked 907. via Frejasway Ceramics

Bitossi for Rosenthal-Netter. via Etsy

Gerd Hiort Petersen for Soholm, Denmark, figure no 621. via Twenty21

Wright: Living Contemporary Auction Sept 2011

Here are my picks from Wright's upcoming "Living Contemporary" auction to be held on September 15, 2011.

 Josef Albers, Variant IV (from the Ten Variants portfolio), 1966

 Robert Herrmann, River Buildings, 1966

 Ludwig Sander, untitled, 1965

Ludwig Sander, Fall, 1961

Leonard Edmondson, untitled, 1949

 Edward Wormley, coffee table, model 5632N for Dunbar, c. 1957

 Roger Capron, coffee table, glazed stoneware and walnut France, c. 1965

 George Nakashima, night stands, c. 1970

 Collection of Japanese vessels, c. 1950's

Phillip Lloyd Powell, lounge chair, c. 1960

Check out the rest of items up for grabs at Wright.