Modernism Show Recap

It was such an exciting weekend jam-packed with fresh inspiration which I can't wait to share!  I'm going to pace myself though and start with just a recap of the 2011 Los Angeles Modernism Show.

The Los Angeles Modern Committee had a booth generously offered to us by Dolphin Fairs and as the Vice Chair of ModCom, I was there to raise awareness of all the mid-century gems in LA that need to be protected. (Did you see our booth there? And sign-up for the mailing list? If not, you can still sign up here for monthly updates and find out about our meetings here)

Now that I've plugged ModCom, let's move on to the eye candy!  For those of you who aren't familiar with the Modernism Show, it features the best of the best when it comes to 20th century art and furnishings. If you have a little extra cash lying around (and by a little I mean, at least a thousand bills), you can take home something to call your very own.  Yes, the prices can be kind of steep. There are some affordable finds, however, like this great modular sofa for $1100 from Modern Home in Palm Springs. He actually had a pair of these (one in storage) and the 3-sections of each sofa can be arranged and rearranged to suit your needs.  For example, you can have two seats together with a table on one end. Or put both bases together to create a sectional.  Or even put three seats on one base to create a traditional sofa and two tables and one seat on the other base. I love flexible, functional furniture!


The star of the show was this Paul McCobb booth from Reform Gallery featuring almost a complete set of rare pieces from a collection called the Planner Group.  It took a decade for Jonathan Goldstein and Gerard O'Brien to assemble it all and there were some one-of-a-kind pieces, literally. It was incredible! They even had the original product brochures from 1953 on display. I took a couple of overview shots, plus close-ups of a great desk lamp and vase. Who knew Paul McCobb even designed ceramics? And this 1950s vase feels fresh as if it were just conceived yesterday. Check out Jonathan's blog and his Flickr set for more detailed photos of the individual pieces and if you have any McCobb questions, this is definitely your go-to guy.  He's even working on a Paul McCobb book. 








Another great booth was ModernHause. Oscar had some impressive furniture including this fantastic orange-lacquered George Nelson-designed bedroom suite for Herman Miller (Actually designed by Nelson, not one of his associates). The asking price was $5k for the entire collection. Not bad at all considering it includes a king-size bed with storage, two cabinets, and a chest of drawers. Let's face it, you can easily drop that for some mass-produced contemporary bedroom furniture and you won't get this quality or unique design.




Among the other pieces I coveted were a pair of Russel Wright spun-aluminum floor lamps offered by Studio 101.  It's really rare to see a pair together!


Also on my wish list? A General Dynamics poster from Vintage European Posters. I see this Berkley-based company at all the trade shows and I always stand mesmerized at their booth as they flip through the stacks of oversized, beautifully-designed posters. I have not yet had the opportunity to use one in a project or buy one for myself. Someday soon, I hope. This particular poster reminds me of a box of 64 Crayola crayons! Just wonderful in every way!


Last, but certainly not least, my heart actually skipped a beat when I saw this desk offered by Roy Aldridge Antiques. That colorful combination of laminated drawer-fronts and beautiful teak veneer had me counting my pennies to see if I could swing the nearly $1700 price tag. Sadly, I walked away sans desk. Bummer. Stay tuned though, because I definitely have a future DIY idea inspired by this piece.


So, that's it for my adventures at the Modernism Show. Check back later this week, as I continue the weekend recap with a mega-post about two of my all-time favorite designers on the planet!