Editor’s Letter, January/February 2017

Gregory Cerio Opinion

Not long ago I came across a graphic novel by the talented artist and illustrator Leanne Shapton entitled Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry. The book tells a love story in the form of an auction catalogue.

Folk art: Modern design’s secret pleasure

Editorial Staff

August 2009 | The Eames House in Pacific Palisades, California, is one of the icons of mid-twentieth-century modernism. Set in a grove of eucalyptus trees, the building comprises two simple rectilinear volumes—one a living space, the other a working studio—framed in steel with walls formed of a grid of clear glass casement windows peppered with colorful painted wooden panels (Fig.2). …

What modern was: Mid Century masters of luxury

Editorial Staff

May 2008 | Whatever is new, is bad,” Wallace Nutting wrote in 1925. A minister-turned-entrepreneur who almost single-handedly popularized the colonial revival style via the sale of period furniture reproductions, Nutting (1861–1941) was one of the most acerbic partisans in an aesthetic fight waged in the early decades of the twentieth century—a battle between modernism and tradition. In the 1920s …

Philadelphia

Editorial Staff

Philadelphia is a city of great character and great contrasts: blue-blooded and blue collar; home of the beaux arts and the Broad Street Bullies; as steeped in history as it is in Tastee Cakes. In today’s Philadelphia, au courant fashion shops nestle next to dealers in exquisite art and antiques. In April the City of Brotherly Love celebrates its long …

American studio ceramics at mid century

Editorial Staff

March 2009 | Mourning the loss of aesthetic purity in the modern age, Susan Sontag once wrote that “[I]n a world that is well on its way to becoming one vast quarry, the collector becomes someone engaged in a pious work of salvage.”1 There are countless reasons why people become collectors. Doubtless there are many reasons that Philip E. Aarons, …

Palm Beach

Editorial Staff

“Follow the money.” What was good advice for Woodward and Bernstein is equally useful guidance for the antiques collector. When Henry Morrison Flagler established Palm Beach as a winter haven for Gilded Age society, important furnishings and art were sure to follow. And so they did. February sees the annual Palm Beach Jewelry, Art, and Antique Show, and those who …

Bold, bright, and underappreciated: British furniture at mid-century

Editorial Staff

June 2008 | In the dozen or so years since a new wave of collectors and design aficionados rediscovered furnishings of the mid-twentieth century, works from many countries—France, the United States, Italy, the Scandinavian nations, Brazil—have become prized (and pricey) artifacts. But one state that fostered a large and thriving furniture design and manufacturing community in the years prior to …

Showmanship and fantasy: the designs of James Mont

Editorial Staff

July 2008 | Theworld of fine decorative arts has been populated by many colorful characters, but only one who could have stepped out of the pages of Damon Runyon or—if your tastes run to less sentimental portrayers of the criminal underworld—Mario Puzo. His name was James Mont, a.k.a. James Pess, a.k.a. Demetrios Pecintoglu—the name he was given at his birth …

Gilbert Rohde: The man who saved Herman Miller

Editorial Staff

December 2008 | Instances of fakery and shady dealing aside, furniture is rarely if ever the object of ethical quandaries. But Dirk Jan (known as D. J.) De Pree (1891-1990), the founder of the Herman Miller Furniture Company, tended to view most aspects of life through the prism of his devoutly held religious convictions, and in the summer of 1930, …

The lost generation of Danish design

Editorial Staff

September 2008 | Nothing is harder to lose than a bad reputation, as a group of long-overlooked Danish furniture designers would probably agree. The furnishings and housewares that emerged from twentieth-century Scandinavia—particularly out of Denmark—had an enormous impact on modernist design. Whether working with fine rosewood or humbler materials such as bent plywood, Scandinavians had an unmatched talent for marrying …