Sunday, August 17, 2008

Modern? Snicker

As you're picking your furniture out of an IKEA catalog, sitting in your "Modern" home, pecking away at your Apple whatever, planning on painting every room in your house cocoa brown and powder blue, I'd like to point out to you that I've seen all your design motifs already, and that Delmer Wilson, our favorite Shaker brother, was alive and working in Sabbathday Maine when this industrial film was made in 1958. Which means my Shaker reproductions are more modern than your "Modern" style stuff.

Sippican Cottage Furniture. More modern than your MacBook Air. Just less "Modern."


Anwyn said...

No Macs, dude. Give me credit for a *little* sense. ;)

Eric said...

I'm not sure what your point is here. "modern" as a style is generally recognized, and if IKEA is making stuff like that, what's the issue?

There are whole websites out there devoted to "mid century modern" meaning that sort of style that video shows from basically the late 1940's through the mid 1960's.

I grew up in houses built and decorated to that style. (and that in the Midwest too).

Was Delmer designing new things in the 1950's or still making things as he had been taught and always had.

I think there's a difference, but that's me.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Eric- Thanks for reading and commenting.

The problem as I see it is that the language is debased. People hear and say the word "modern" and think: "up to date." They don't think Modern, they think modern with a small m. It's not modern. It's a different kind of old fashioned.

I also grew up in houses exactly like the video I offered. The vacuum cleaner, the can-opener, the beverage container with the captured lid, and many more objects in the video were the exact items, not just like them.

But those ideas were not modern even in the 1950s. They were German ideas between wars.

You're also making an assumption that all analysis of these styles carries an implicit good/bad switch for me. IKEA is what it is. It just isn't modern.

Eric said...

Oh. Ok. When I hear the word 'modern' applied to furniture style, I immediately default to understanding that it is some riff on 'mid century modern'.

It sort of gets hard to identify things these days since so much of it is some pastiche of past styles.

I bought some furniture from target called 'mission style' and it has a sort of Gustav Stickley look to it, and is a warm color. It was made in Indonesia and I had to put it together with the kind of cambolts and things that one typically finds in IKEA furniture. I found a carpet that as the movie goes 'makes the room hang together', and a sofa and chair from Ikea (heh). It all seems to work in my bungalow. At least I like it, my wife likes and all my friends like it.

Its not the stuff you make, by a long shot, sad to say.

SippicanCottage said...

I found a carpet that as the movie goes 'makes the room hang together'

I swear, right now, on the soul of my mother, that I'm wearing a t-shirt that reads:

"The Dude Abides"


Eric said...