Bookmarks: Miller’s Mid-Century Modern

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'Mid-Century Modern' by Judith Miller surrounded by vintage Mid-century modern homewares including a West German fat lava vase, bright orange pedestal cigarette lighter, small Cathrineholm enamelware Lotus bowl and still life oil painting

In today’s Bookmarks post we’re taking a peek at Mid-Century Modern – living with mid-century modern design by Judith Miller.

title page of "Mid-Century Modern" by Judith Miller with a small Cathrineholm enamelware Lotus bowl

Well, a bit more of a peek really , as we linger over some of the wonderful pieces on display!

interior view of the mid-century modern design Kauffman House sitting room

Mid-century modern is one of our favourite eras for interior design, illustration, textiles and product design…

Arne Jacobsen "Ant" and "Swan" chairs

…so as the pages turned, there was a soundtrack of many oohs and ahhs!

selection of vintage Mid-Century Modern glassware including a kingfisher blue "Drunken Bricklayer" vase designed for Whitefriars by Geoffrey Baxter

Judith Miller is most famous for her all-encompassing antiques & collectables guides which are published annually.

collection of colourful West German "Fat Lava" pottery pots and vases

In recent years, they’ve include an ever-increasing number of 20th century pieces in response to interest & demand.

collection of GPlan furniture including a nest of pebble tables and "Butterfly" chairs designed by Lucian Ercolani

This book concentrates solely on mid-century modern – 1950s to the 1970s being the period generally accepted.

collection of vintage mid-century modern glass vases

A wonderful introductory chapter covers its evolution and influential designers.

collection of vintage mid-century modern chairs including examples designed by Charles and Ray Eames and Carlo di Carli

The movement perfectly encapsulated a new mood of optimism after the war years with revolutionary designs, materials & techniques.

collection of vintage mid-century modern pop art chairs including examples designed by Egon Eiermann and Günter Beltzig

The fresh ideas, and indeed disposable income, of a whole new generation began to soar.

vintage mid-century modern chair designed by Eero Saarinen and folding cube radio designed by Richard Sapper

There are examples of houses & interiors that encapsulate the era – less cluttered and designed for modern living.

vintage mid-century modern George Nelson "Spike" wall clock, Tommi Parzinger-designed sideboard and mahogany credenza and aluminium armchair designed by Harvey Probber

A broad array of objects are included, with chapters given over to furniture, lighting, glass, ceramics, metalware & textiles.

collection of vintage mid-century modern glass vases produced by Riihimaki of Finland

In addition, an extensive section covers the people responsible for these wonderful & iconic designs.

collection of vintage mid-century modern fabric

There are about 200 familiar & not so familiar names who are given a short, individual write up.

Mid-Century Modern text

We’ll just scratch the surface by mentioning Arne Jacobsen, Verner Panton, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, Robert Welch, Stig Lindberg, Lucienne Day, Per Lutken, Charles & Ray Eames.

view of a sitting room with black Barcelona chairs and sofas

The book is packed with quality, full colour photographic references throughout…

vintage "Valentine" typewriter designed by Ettore Sottsass, Peter and Alison Smithson chair and Ronald Stennett-Wilson green glass candlestick

…and as with all Miller’s guides – estimated values to accompany each item image.

vintage mid-century modern Marcel Breuer reclining chair and Holmegaard "Gulvase" designed by Otto Brauer

There’s also a useful directory included of international dealers and their contact details – broken down into categories such as ceramics, glass, furniture, lighting etc.

collection of American-designed vintage mid-century modern furniture

As well as auctions & fairs and museums if you fancy going to see or sometimes handle wares in the flesh.

vintage mid-century modern posters by Saul Bass and Herbert Bayer

The book is well researched and accessible – a perfect coffee table browser or excellent source book for your library.

collection of vintage Scandinavian mid-century modern ceramic pots, vases and plaques

Mid-Century Modern – living with mid-century modern design is available from the publishers Octopus, Amazon and AbeBooks.

collection of vintage Scandinavian mid-century modern ceramics designed by Stig Lindberg

'Mid-Century Modern' by Judith Miller

[Many thanks to Octopus for the review copy]

Midcentury Mag

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image of the front cover of the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine pictured with a vintage Cathrineholm kettle and vintage harlequin china cup & saucer all on a piece of 1950s monochrome Crabtree fabric with milky way pattern

We have a regular book review feature on our blog, but today we’re looking at a magazine.

image of the 'Get the Look' feature in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

The biannual publication of Midcentury has recently been launched, so it’s especially nice to be able to cast our eye over edition number one.

image of Peggy Olsen in the Mad Men feature in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

It’s a subject close to our hearts too – namely Mid-Century Modernism.

image of Lucienne Day Olive Calyx pattern and Robin Day armchair from the Pallant House Gallery exhibition review in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

We’ve been reading our copy over the weekend and have been thoroughly enjoying it.

image of the 'image from the 'Directory' section in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

image of the 'image from the 'Directory' section in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine image of the 'image from the 'Directory' section in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

Articles in this edition include an in-depth look at the ever-expanding Midcentury Modern Show and an interview with the founders & organisers, Petra Curtis & Lucy Ryder Richardson.

image of the 'image from the 'Dealers' section in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

The Festival of Britain features prominently – both details of the original spectacular exhibition and current events to mark this, its 60th anniversary.

image of the 'image from the 'Marriage Made in Heaven' feature in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

There’s a look at the hit TV show, Mad Men and its influence on the current Mid Century Modern renaissance.

image of the 'image of visitors to the MidMod Show in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

Regular features are set to include the Buyer’s Guide to a design classic (the Eames rocker); Collector’s Perspective (the sculptures of Brian Willsher), Designer’s Eye (fashion designer, Margaret Howell‘s choice of 3 fave MCM pieces)’ Curator’s Choice which highlights a current exhibition (Robin & Lucienne Day at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester) and Mid Century Home, (in this edition, a tour of Cathy Spooner & Peter Walls’ house in Crystal Palace, London).

image of the 'image from the 'Festival of Britain' feature in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

There’s an excellent directory of specialist MCM stockists, designers & dealers.

image of the 'image of a bright yellow Eames rocking chair in the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

Format wise, it’s between A4 and A5 – and there are 66 pages in all. A subscription costs £6.95 per year for two issues, £10.95 in Europe and £13.95 to the rest of the world. The price includes postage.

image of close up of the front cover of the 1st edition of Midcentury Magazine

Hopefully this is the start of something great – so get your hands on a copy, have a browse and let them know what you think.

Bookmarks: V & A Pattern

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V & A Fifties and Pop Patterns books

One little blog post about two little books.

covers of V & A Fifties and Pop Patterns books covers of V & A Fifties and Pop Patterns books

Today’s Bookmarks post features V & A The Fifties and Pop Patterns

page from V & A Fifties Pattern book by Sue Pritchard

With less than a hundred pages each, they’re small – but perfectly formed.

vintage 1950s pattern illustration in blue with a Venetian scene

Each book has an introductory overview of its subject – prominent designers, artistic and social influences etc

vintage Calyx pattern designed by Lucienne Day in the 1950s

Written by Sue Pritchard in The Fifties and by Oriole Cullen in Pop Patterns.

Malaga pattern wallpaper sample produced by Palladio Wallpapers in 1955

Concise & informed  – they’re perfectly scaled to match the books.

vintage patterns designed by Marion Mahler for David Whitehead Ltd in the 1950s

The introductions are followed by plenty of illustrated examples…

Malaga pattern wallpaper sample produced by Palladio Wallpapers in 1955

…all taken from the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Collections.

vintage Springboard pattern designed by Lucienne Day in 1954

Each book manages to pack in about 60 of them!

page from V & A Pop Patterns book by Oriole Cullen

These fantastic designs were used in textiles, wallpapers and home furnishings.

vintage numbers furnishing fabrics designed by Annikki & Ilmari Tapiovaara in the 1960s

Some of these patterns have actually been re-released of late – Calyx by Lucienne Day for example and Marian Mahler’s Mobiles.

vintage Chuck Berry and Marilyn patterns designed by Christopher Snow in the 1960s

For others, you will have to hunt down vintage examples – not an easy task!

vintage Wacky Packages patterned fabric designed for VIP Fabrics Inc in the 1960s

The books also provide lists of further reading if your appetites have been whetted.

vintage T-shirt prints designed by Marshall Lester for Scott Lester Ltd in the 1960s

Each book comes with an accompanying disc of 70 high resolution digital images of vintage patterns that you can use (with permission if they are to be used commercially).

Once again, both books are available from the H is for Home A-stores:

And the whole series can be found on the Hive website.

page from V & A Pop Patterns book by Oriole Cullen showing CD containing high resolution pattern images

They’re a good, inexpensive introduction to the subject… highly recommended!

[Many thanks to V & A Publishing for supplying these review copies]

Bookmarks – 1950s Fashion Print

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book entitled "1950s Fashion Print" by Marnie Fogg surrounded by vintage 1950s fabric

 

Today’s Bookmarks book review is 1950s Fashion Print….

front page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg surrounded by vintage 1950s fabric

…one in a series written by Marnie Fogg and published by Anova Books.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with bird print

The books arrival was perfectly timed as it appeared hot on the heels of our vintage fabric haul which we blogged about recently.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with carousel print

It’s very attractive visually.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with ballerina print

Holding the book, with its tactile, textured cover is almost like handling a piece of barkcloth.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with still life on a tabletop print

An initial flick through the enticing photos contained within persuades you to delve deeper.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with figurative print

There are endless examples of superb, period fabric designs to drool over…

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with atomic print

…full-colour, detailed images of vintage prints on every page.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with red atomic print

Some very recognisable patterns as well as ones you’ll probably not seen before.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with trio of atomic prints

It isn’t however,  just a collection of pretty pictures…

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s female figure composed from various printed fabrics

…it’s extremely well researched – Fogg really knows her subject.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with leaf print

She used to be a lecturer in Visual Studies and the Culture of Fashion at the University of Nottingham.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s Lucienne Day fabric

In addition to details about the actual fabric designs, the book encompasses related topics such as interior design and social & historical influences.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing illustrated female figure dressed in the New Look style in 1950s printed fabric

Another strong point of the book is the photo captions – they’re full of additional information and incisive comments.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with stylised plant pot print

It’s a wonderful leisure read, but also a great resource…

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing full, gathered skirt made from vintage 1950s fabric

… an inspiration for design projects or for identifying fabrics that you may be lucky enough to find!

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s Tibor Reich

There’s also a useful bibliography of where to go next if your appetite for 50s patterns has been whetted.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing a trio of vintage 1950s fabric with different geometric prints

It’s a must for devotees of textile designers such as Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler, Robert Stewart, Jaqueline Groag, Sylvia Chambers & Tom Mellor to name but a few  – along with manufacturers such as Heals, David Whitehead Ltd & Edinburgh Weavers…

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing a 1950s magazine ad for Sundour fabrics

…and for fans of Mid-century Modern in general.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing a collection of swatches of vintage 1950s fabrics

This book is going to be a permanent fixture on our shelves.

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with leaf print
1950s Fashion Print can also be bought from our vintage design bookshops: Amazon UK | Amazon US

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with figurative print

We’ll be following up in the very near future with a review of Fogg’s 1960s Fashion Fabrics

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with Marian Mahler

…we’re very much looking forward to it!

page from the book entitled "1950s Fashion Prints" by Marnie Fogg showing vintage 1950s fabric with sun print on a red background

Olive green horizontal dotted line

book entitled "1950s Fashion Print" by Marnie Fogg

[Many thanks to Anova Books for supplying this review copy.]