A Quick Visit In The Stylish Furnishings Gallery From The Mid-20th Century
The minute I check out an approaching exhibit of mid-century furnishings
at the NGV, it was excitedly bookmarked into the calendar.
And the exhibit, which opened last weekend, did not dissatisfy.
It Was Way Better Than I Had Imagined.
Not only was there an extremely extensive collection of beautifully preserved furniture from the efficient post-war period, when furniture designers explore "brand-new" materials (like plywood and polypropylene), to develop pieces which represented the new ideas of area & lightness, in a rejection of the heavy style of seating which had gone before, which, in itself, would make the exhibit worthwhile.
However, No, There Was More. Much More.
It had been imaginatively and thoughtfully curated, to consist of entire space setups as they would have remained in a "modern-day house" of the mid-century. This is a picture of the well-known "Age Dream Home" which was built in 1955 in Melbourne to motivate young families to reassess their concepts on what the ideal household house may be.
Developed by Royal Victorian Institute of Architects' Small Homes Service, in conjunction with the local Age newspaper, it included full-size window walls of slim-framed glazing, open strategy living, modular storage furniture and the brand-new style of light-legged sculptural furnishings.
Simply A Little Ahead Of Its Time.
And here is the same living-room replica, rebuilt at the NGV exhibition, which, in spite of my blurred image from my electronic camera phone (oops), vagrantpress.dev home design trends records the open, clean freshness of this Brave New World.
Splayed legs, slim and great, natural timber, black painted steel, woven textured materials in earthy colours and a lack of elaborate decoration: it was a radical style of interiors https://www.washingtonpost.com/newssearch/?query=luxury houses after the sophisticated designs which had actually prevailed pre-war.
There are magnificent displays of home-maker publications of the period, like this charming variation from 1950, the text of which is so tasty that please zoom in to read it.
" Moderns have found that beauty in the house and happiness and health on their own go hand in hand …" – Dulux Paint Ad, 1950, Australian Women's Weekly
The magazine display system was even motivated by the spirit of the furnishings designers of the MCM period, and had his own splayed legs to reveal off.
Ah! I was in paradise – a lot goodness in dazzling furniture design.
And possibly my really favourite of all, the Contour Chairs, created by Grant Featherston in 1953, which are now worth a fortune; which is not a surprise at all, due to the fact that as well as being gorgeous to take a look at, they are amazingly comfortable.
So if you are in Melbourne, or will be between now and October 19, and you prefer a little bit of good design and remarkable history, I do urge you to pop in and spend a most scrumptious hour browsing the dreams and hopes of the post-war furniture designers, who attempted dream of a Brave New World, all from the convenience of one's new-fangled Television Chair.