First::Saving Mid-Century Modern
Mid-Century Modern is known by many names: The retro look, atomic age, googie, Eames era, Knoll look, and George Nelson style. Roughly encompassing the 1930s to the 1970s, there is no question that the heights of Mid-Century modern were the 1950s and 1960s. What began as Art Deco Moderne in the inter-war years, morphed into something quintessentially optimistic and democratic after WWII. Clean lines, born in the scarcities of war-time rationing, came to mean progress and modernity to the United States. Americans, tired of the bleak war years, embraced a style of life that promised the future, today. Young families, eager to leave formality behind, bought homes, cars, furnishings and a new lifestyle.
It really was a lifestyle revolution. The idea that if you lived a modern lifestyle you were modern and progressive meant that we mass consumed our way past The Joneses. Families demanded houses with open spaces to live together, instead of closed formal parlors. Affordable furniture, designed for comfort and panache, were accessible to most. The most amazing part of this revolution was that it spread to all areas of consumption. From beautiful and clean lined architecture to furniture, cars, accessories, home appliances, every area of the culture was transformed.
Unfortunately, the beautiful homes that fifty years ago came to symbolize the modern life, are losing out to the fads of the day. Who knows how many homes have been lost to an aggressive rustic makeover or a well-intentioned but hideous cottage update?
My aim is to publicize outstanding examples of Mid-Century Modern in Utah. Maybe if I can show you the hidden jewels that surround, you’ll take up the fight to preserve the optimism of the Mid-Century Modern style.