Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mid-Century Modern for the kidlets

   As a mother of four, I invariably end up watching a lot of cartoons.  I have a new appreciation for all of the classic shows from the 40s-60s, and love picking out historical details.  The early Tom and Jerry cartoons have some seriously cool Art Deco interiors and architecture!
The interiors featured kitchens with rounded aluminum rimmed counter tops, metal cupboards, checkerboard linoleum floors, and streamlined stove silhouettes.  Another thing that abounds in these early animations is the some pretty serious racial stereotypes.  Political Correctness did not exist in the way it does today, but that's a subject for a different blog post (that I'm not touching with a 10 foot pole.) 
 If you're looking for space age atomic, of course the Jetson's is the creme de la creme.  In fact, between Disney's original 1950's Tomarrowland and the Jetson's, I'm a little disappointed in the "future."
If you are looking for high style design, then Bugs Bunny has you covered.  Bugs Bunny owns a Hollywood home nearly identical to Twin Palms, owned by Frank Sinatra.
He is seen relaxing in chairs by Eames (shell), Ferrari-Hardoy (butterfly), and Marco Zanuso.


Watching mid-century cartoons isn't the only way to get your MCM style fix.  I've noticed it in Modern Disney Cartoons like Kim Possible......
and Phineas and Ferb (a favorite in our house).  The bumbling arch-villain Doofenshmirtz has a fantastic living room, complete with Preway fireplace, Joan MirĂ³ artwork, and Saarinen Womb Chair.
Pixar studios,which is located in Emeryville, CA, is known to have many fine examples of Eichler Ranch architecture.  Clearly the artists there have been influenced, because references to the mid-century era, through Americana and design are found throughout some of their most popular films.  Cars is obvious, with its retro Route 66 theme, but what about Toy Story?  Westerns were wildly popular until every little boy became obsessed with the Space Race.  The villain in Toy Story 2, has quite the collection of 50s toy memorabilia and space age furniture.
The coolest example though, is the film, The Incredibles.  Holy design-gasm!!!
Our absolute favorite is the Powerpuff Girls.  My daughter loves watching a show where tiny super hero heroines save the day.  I love watching it because of the clever writing and carefully crafted, atomic style backdrop.   I want to marry professor Utonium, just so I can live in his house, which is believed to be modeled after a home in the 1958 French Comedy, Mon Oncle. He has Mondrian inspired artwork, an Eames lounger, swag lamps, and tons of atomic ranch style. Townsville is also filled with many perfect examples of 1950s architecture.
Interested in watching a collection of Mid-century cartoons and shorts? Check out this collection by Animation archaeologist Steve Stanchfiled
Happy Sunday!









Saturday, March 8, 2014

Domestic Bliss

As I mentioned a couple of months ago, my family and I worked with a photographer to capture some quirky family photos.  We wanted them to be unique, funny, and a little bit "wrong".  I think we captured how chaotic and lively our lives are with four children.  Enjoy!
1950s family photo quirky Just Peachy, Darling










In case you can't read it, the book is a 1950s edition of "Practical Birth Control." Clearly, my husband would rather watch television. :)








Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cuban Maracas and Mexican Sombreros

I'm slowly getting back into the mood for outfit posts.  I received this deadstock blouse as a gift from my friend at the Robot Exchange.  I'm in love with bows, tie necks, and ascots.  I bought this 1930s celluloid brooch off of Etsy last year.  It's a tiny working Cuban maraca, which has the hilarious side effect of making me want to shimmy around while wearing it.  It's the same color palette as my Mexican novelty skirt, which has little caballeros playing guitars.  
Outfit details: 
1950s rhinestone cateye sunglasses: Etsy
1950s Celebrity blouse: Robot Exchange
1950s patent leather belt: Estate
1950s Mexican novelty skirt: Ebay
red crinoline: Ebay
assorted Bakelite bangles: Ebay
1930s La Conga brooch: Etsy
shoes: Poetic License





Monday, February 10, 2014

Mid-century Photographs from the CF&I Steel Mill archives

While I was putting together the Pueblo Modern show, I spent a lot of time tracking down photographic images from some local sources.  I had some wonderful images that were provided for me from families that grew up in our post-war neighborhoods and also some civic event photos, such as parades and fairs from the Pueblo Library district.  By far, the best resource that I found for images was the CF&I Steel Mill Archives.  Their images go back to the turn of the century and are an absolutely brilliant resource and  teaching tool.  Most of the really old images have already been scanned and cataloged, but the photos from the recent past were still in folders, untapped.  My lovely friend Sara, an archivist at the Museum, let me peruse all the images with some very fashionable protective gloves. ;)
   The Kadoya Gallery was able to enlarge quite a few of the images to be displayed at the Pueblo Modern Exhibition, but honestly, the entire show could have JUST been CF&I images.  I hope the museum will eventually open up a section to display some of these treasures, but in the mean time I'd like to share some of them here.




















Eat your heart out, Mad Men!

Interested in industrial history? Check out the Steelworks Museum.


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