modernism

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1975-32-3
Guns and Roses
Edgar Brandt showed promise in metalwork since his teenage years. He forged a rose in iron for his graduation masterwork from the École Nationale Professionnelle de Vierzon, located in a traditional site of metallurgy manufacture in central France. Following further training and certification through the Brevet Technicien Superieur Brandt served two years in the 153rd...
1991-108-6-a:c
Gravity’s Shadow
Electric lighting has existed since the late nineteenth century. Some of the earliest forms exhibited fine Art Nouveau-era workmanship, while decadent Art Deco forms arose in the mid-1920s. A functional, industrially-inspired modernist aesthetic grew in popularity from the 1930s onward. But to my mind, the 1960s was a time of some of the most inventive and clever lighting design, especially for home interiors. Looking to developments...
2013-1-1
The Miracle of Glass
More than 44 million people attended the New York World’s Fair in 1939 and two of the many exhibits that visitors would have enjoyed were the Glass Center, a pavilion that marketed glass as the material of the future, and the Town of Tomorrow, a faux suburb of model homes that included the House of...
Sutnar
Modernism in a Milk Jug
Functionalism is the idea that form should follow function; objects should be designed simply, honestly, and directly. [1] It should be immediately clear to a viewer and a user what the object is and how to use it. Functionalist objects are primarily domestic objects, which makes this milk jug an example of Functionalism in inter-war...
2013-50-43
A Stool of a Rare Architect
We can define as “rare” an artist whose work is hard to reach or to see, because there are only few creations that remain from him, and because the tracks that could explain most of them are lost. Trying to reach them becomes a true quest for the art lover. Pierre Chareau (1883-1950) was such...
Circular form; smooth blue case surrounding metal band with Arabic numerals encircling white face with black hands; metal stem at top. At center: "WESTCLOX".
“An Essential Accessory”
This handbag watch, introduced in 1933 by the Westclox division of the General Time Instruments Corporation, offered the busy modern woman a portable, fashionable and discreet way to manage her time. [1] An alternative to wearing a wristwatch and about the size of a man’s pocket watch, this timepiece was large enough to be easily found...
Pink oblong oval form with folded, undulating rim.
American Modernizing
Russel Wright’s massively popular American Modern Dinnerware line remained in production for 20 years—from 1939 to 1959—but that was only after Wright spent two years prodding reluctant manufacturers to mass-produce his unconventional ceramics. The line was a departure from everything that design, and tableware in particular, represented in prior years. Instead of restrained and formal,...
Tapering cylindrical form with circular mouth, broad shoulder; body decorated with horizontal grooves; creamy yellow matte glaze.
A Modern Wedgwood Unadorned
This austere vase embodies nearly the exact opposite of Wedgwood’s well-known decorative aesthetic. Founded in 1759, the firm developed a sophisticated earthenware, often either black to imitate ancient Greek ceramics, or blue with relief decoration featuring neoclassical husks, swags of flowers and pastoral scenes. Early wares made of this material were cheaper than porcelain, but...
Ceiling-hung light, the segmented artichoke-like form with copper leaves supported on metal framework.
What Lies Beneath The Artichoke?
Poul Henningsen’s childhood was illuminated by the glow of gas lamps. When electricity arrived in his small Danish hometown and left his neighbor’s windows ablaze with the stark glare of electric light bulbs, Henningsen began to grapple with a design quandary that would come to define his entire career. He was determined to calm the...