Richard Koppe (1916-1973) was an American modernist artist, designer and educator. In the late 1930s, Koppe attended the New Bauhaus in Chicago where he was taught by László Moholy-Nagy. You can really see the tutor’s influence on the pupil’s style.
For ages we’ve hankered after a menu he designed in 1948 for Well of the Sea restaurant located in the basement of Hotel Sherman, Chicago. Examples appear on eBay occasionally – but they are never cheap!
He produced other designs for the restaurant including 5 impressive ‘glow in the dark’ wall murals, coloured recessed back-lighting and kinetic mobiles. A range of crockery was produced for the restaurant by Shenango in 1953 using his designs. Someone on Zazzle is currently producing exact replicas of this restaurant-ware; putting it to china, melamine and textile home accessories.
We have an illustration painted by Cal Dunn of one of Koppe’s Well of the Sea murals in one of our vintage cookbooks, ‘The Ford Treasury of Favourite Recipes from Famous Eating Places‘. We’ve also found a couple of contemporary black & white photographs of the restaurant here and here.
Richard Koppe exhibited widely at international institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Academy in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia, the Royal Academy of Art in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
He also taught for many years as Head of Visual Design and Fine Arts at the Institute of Design (ID) at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and later as Professor of Art at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Additional image credits:
Art in America magazine | Corbett vs Dempsey | Elmhurst Art Museum | Invaluable | Flickr
Our love affair with all things 50s-inspired continues with this mid-century lounge. It has many of the classic hallmarks of this type of space – light & airy, unfussy, optimistic. The furniture is stylish, yet retains a functional simplicity – the distinctive splayed legs and feet associated with the era are much in evidence. The parquet flooring is a wonderful original feature that really suits the overall design. Clean lines and hard edges are softened with textiles and lots of natural foliage.
Whilst we’re concentrating on the lounge area, we love the open plan nature of the apartment and glimpses through to the kitchen and mezzanine bedroom. The glazed panel works perfectly to section off the bedroom area whilst retaining the sight line and flow – this is cleverly echoed by the the mirror on the wall beneath.
- ASTRO Tressino S 7042 IP44 wall light
- Aspect mirror
- Mid-century media 6-piece set
- Mid-century turned wood leg planters
- Stellar white marble side table
- Santiago leather armchair in camel
- 2 x Lule high back carver dining chairs
- Porto left-hand corner sofa
Have a look at some of the other interiors we’ve featured in our Get their look series.
This is the kind of mid-century-inspired kitchen-diner where I’d happily spend lots of time; cooking, eating, entertaining, relaxing.
It’s an incredible use of space with a very unusual kitchen island / breakfast bar combo. Most breakfast bars are designed in such a way that you perch atop an often uncomfortable bar stool; these vintage Scandi Model 42 dining chairs are a far preferable alternative!
There’s oodles of storage and display space thanks to the custom-built shelving unit in the centre of the photo above. I love the detail of the top shelf following the slope of the ceiling. I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t even more storage in the base of that bench!
- Vertigo 2-light foyer pendant
- Vertigo 1-light hanging mini pendant
- Martini cocktail set
- Perforated decorative bowl
- Oak and glass dining table
- Vintage Model 42 dining chairs by Kai Kristiansen for Schou Anderson
- Live edge wood slabs
Click here to see other rooms featured in our Get their look series.
This mid-century-modern-inspired kitchen merges vintage and brand new in just the right measure. The mint coloured cupboards, fridge and patterned wallpaper are very evocative of the period. The splashes of red and yellow give the space added impact.
The 1950s are associated with a post war optimism which influenced interior design greatly – and this kitchen is a suitably bright and cheerful space to reflect that spirit.
- Portfolio 9.45-in W chrome ceiling flush mount light
- Julia Rothmans Daydream (green) wallpaper tiles
- The Skylark shallow bowl stem mount light
- Smeg FAB28YV1 fridge A++ energy rating, 60cm wide, left-hand hinge, pastel green
- Eames moulded plastic side chair
- FairTrade red heera jute diamond 60cm x 150cm runner
- STENSTORP kitchen trolley, white/oak
We’ve chosen this Mid-century Modern-inspired crash pad for our Get their look post this week.
Lots of work went into transforming a rather staid 2 bedroom flat into this cool place which the owner uses 3 or 4 nights a week whilst working in Dublin. The whole family descends to stay from time to time too.
There’s a main open living, cooking, dining space – with separate bedrooms and bathroom. A small office/work area has also been incorporated into a recess. It’s quite masculine in style – pared back, clean lines, uncluttered. The colour scheme consists of layers of grey, black and walnut wood shades with pops of brighter colour.
It’s very functional, yet retains a relaxed feel – warm, secure & cosy too. We think that there’s quite a boutique hotel vibe going on. Ideal for a home away from home maybe.
- Edison Industrial Minaret Modern pendant light – amber
- Anthology Seri wallpaper, 110767
- Walnut and black faux leather barstools – Texas
- Chicago floor lamp, antique copper and gold
- The Cushion Factory pink & grey cushion 45×45
- Luigi sofa
- Chiva functional coffee table with storage
This light-filled living room really lends itself to Mid-century Modern furnishings – and the owners have gathered some lovely pieces to fill the space. Scandinavian styling is much in evidence – the sideboard, seating, small table and lighting all look to have the touch of Scandinavian design – we could perhaps be even more specific and say Danish design.
Walls and ceilings are painted white to enhance the bright, airy feel provided by the large bay window and high ceilings. The wooden floor, leather sofa and textiles add warmth. There are some flashes of bright colour provided by art glass and a row of vintage pottery water jugs sitting atop the bookcase.
This Mid-century Modern living room looks the perfect place to socialise with family and friends.
- ‘Poolside Gossip’ photographic print by Slim Aarons
- Vita Silvia handing lamp shade
- Florence Knoll style leather sofa
- Adjustable eyeball table lamp
- Vintage Danish sideboard
- Vintage Fiesta ware water jugs
- Ercol Originals Windsor chair
- Arkana Tulip table