Mid Century Modern How to define Mid Century Modern?

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Mid Century Modern has the following requirements:

Please put "midmodteam" in your tags when selling your items to support one another.

Because this is the 2nd Largest Team on Etsy, here are
a few new RULES:
1. You do not start a discussion thread of a newly listed item. Put that in the "Newly Listed Items Thread" already created.
2. There is a thread to "Promote You Shop". This thread, you choose an item from the previous listed shop and post it as a favorite, then the shop after you will do the same for you.
3. No Spam!
4. No "Handmade" in the Mid Century "Style" anything!
5. Most of us are MCM Purists and therefore do not appreciate chalk-painted, distressed, and "upcycled" wooden Mid Century furniture. (Unless it is restored to it's Original Condition).

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Original Post

I suppose I'm looking for prevailing opinion on what we should use to specifically define our items as MCM. Year range? Specific materials? Color trends? Designers? Buzz words? It also seems that the Scandinavian design fits nicely here, but I want to be certain I can list my Swedish, Iittala goodies midmod?

Also, you must know that I am guilty of using the "mad men Don Draper" tag with the Dorothy Thorpe barware I have for sale, and I know I can do better. I picked these up super cheap and that seems to be the rage at the moment. Forgive?

Glad to be here! Anxious to learn!

Posted at 3:40 pm Jun 22, 2012 EDT


RetroRansack from RetroRansack says
Edited on Jun 25, 2012

Hi! I am new to mid century modern as well. Thanks for asking these questions! I had to comment because I have some Dorothy Thorpe barware and another barware item that I am going to list soon and was going to include the mad men tag, too. I hope others can forgive me as well :-)

Posted at 8:52 am Jun 25, 2012 EDT

Great question!!

"Rat Pack" and "Atomic" are both words that come to mind. It's one of those things that you know it when you see it. I love it, but to me it's hard to define. It isn't black or white- infinite shades of gray. Clean lines, not too busy. Lots of pointy things- ... ;-)

This is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt- I'm certainly no expert. The top ashtray is MCM and the bottom falls into kitsch...

Posted at 3:39 pm Jun 25, 2012 EDT

I classify mid century as anything between late 1940 to late 1970. It can be modern - where the Scandinavian design fits {simple, clean lines & hairpin legs}, it can be atomic {think sputnik & all things futuristic}, or it can be kitsch {morphic shapes, chalkware, fiberglass shades, anything "cute"}. Often the categories will blend, but one will usually dominate. I think that defines mid century for me. Great discussion. I'm interested in seeing other's views on this topic.

Posted at 6:42 am Jun 27, 2012 EDT

Yes, It can be defined in all those ways...era? 50s to 70s...simple, clean line age jetson type shapes...patterns...squiggles, splatters, boomerangs, orbs...color, color, color! yes!

As far as bar ware, the only interesting bar ware was created in this period...silly cocktail shakers, mices to stick cheese on their tails, umm, cordial glasses featuring dump trucks?!

I think the commonality lies in having a tight pad so you could be a hostess with the mostest!

Posted at 12:19 am Jul 21, 2012 EDT

Michelle from kiteless says
Edited on Jul 25, 2012

Mid century is a period, but modern is a specific kind of aesthetic and design. Not everything of the period can fit into this category. Unfortunately, the term is often mis-used and applied to things outside this category.

Eames, Saarinen, Nelson, Noguchi, McCobb, Bertoia, Umanoff, Baughman, think of those designers. The famous Eames chair, the tulip table, the glass and wood Noguchi coffee table, streamlined McCobb wood furniture with tapered legs and simple pulls, Nelson slat benches, these are the most iconic pieces of furniture. Bullet planters, bubble lamps, Aalto vases, Braun clocks by Dieter Rams, Krenit bowls, these are the kinds of accessories. Clean but often organic in shape or materials (they sure loved them some teak and walnut), design for the masses, stripped down forms. The kitsch only goes as far as the atomic designs of boomerangs and sputnik/starburst shapes, referencing the newfound atomic age and era of space exploration, and even that can be a fine line depending on who you talk to. I really do not put anything too cute (with the exception of some of those adorable Danish teak mice!) or non-atomic kitschy into this category.

Would it be sold at Modernica or DWR? Could you see it being used as an accessory in one of their catalogs? Does it have clean lines? Then probably MCM. Otherwise, maybe not!

If I'm wrong somewhere... please correct me. I just really love this stuff and have been reading and collecting and looking at this stuff for several years, because I'm a total design geek (graphic, interior and industrial) and absolutely adore it.

Posted at 3:29 pm Jul 25, 2012 EDT

Hello all. I'm brand new to the team and though I create MidMod inspired work, I haven't seen any contemporary art shown here. Have I misread the mission statement?

Posted at 7:39 am Aug 2, 2012 EDT

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