An Antidote to Mid-Century Modern
Hi from Brooklyn!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending The NYC Metro Show @ The Metropolitan Pavilion. To be honest, I had no idea what was in this show that I was going to see, so I had no preconceived notions at all. It turned out to be a collection of antique vendors with an emphasis on American Colonial and American Folk Art. Neither of these periods rank in my top 10 from a design esthetic point of view.
However, it dawned on me as I walked through the exhibits, that these pieces of American history are the perfect antidote to the Mid-Century Modern crisis. You know how every picture of modern furniture has the same required tulip table, womb chair, Barcelona seat, and artichoke hanging lamp? What were once beautifully crafted individual pieces are so everywhere that you can't help but be sick to death of them. They have become a 1-2-3 formula. So uninteresting.
The American Folk Art collections, in particular, are absolutely beautiful. The pieces have simple, clean lines of warm woods with muted from age color. Their rich patina would mix incredibly well with modern furniture lending an interesting contrast to the hard lined woods and plastics of the mid-century era. There is also something wonderful about taking well loved, hand crafted pieces and adding them to your home.
The rest of the show proved just as interesting. The coolest piece, to my eye, is a fireplace andiron from the Alan Katz Gallery. It is from around 1920 and mixes Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts in one piece. If you look closely, you can see both the griffon and the snake. It had already sold, so I couldn't see the price. I did find 3 wooden baskets at another gallery offered for $85,000. I'm sure there is a good reason behind that crazy price, but…I am a bit mystified.