“Man…. That chair sure is ugly!”
I’d love to have a nickel for every time I’ve heard that phrase! It seems the new generation of “antiquers” does not want Golden Oak, Depression Glass or Victorian pieces. The pop-culture style today is Mid-Century Modern, which is a widely used term that pretty much covers anything modern, decorative or “ugly” dating from the 1940s-1970s. The age range for most of these buyers/collectors nowadays is 25-45. They are snatching up pieces by Herman Miller, Charles Eames, Knoll, Finn Juhl, Tommi Parzinger and the list goes on. These are items that can be used in everyday life, mainly furniture, as “form follows function.”
Although MCM has been somewhat collected and traded since the late 1970s and early 1980s, you can thank the internet, design shows on television, interior designers and the numerous design magazines for causing this recent explosion of desirability related to the post-war era. It is also trendy in some respects, but this appears to be a style which is here to stay for some time. Just ask Leigh Keno. I would have placed a million dollar bet that a Keno Brother would not have touched a piece of furniture made after 1800. Now, Leigh has added a Mid-Century Modern section to his website!
I am sure many of you reading this have a grandmother or mother who dabbled in the “new modern” look of the 1950s, whether it was one piece of furniture or an entire house full. I am also quite certain many of you reading this still own or know someone who owns a piece from that era.
That brings me to these questions…. What do you think of the future antique? Will it be Mid Century Modern? Do you have parents or grandparents still using furniture, lighting and accessories from the 1940s to 1970s? Why has this style grown so popular? Nowadays the future is hard to see and that is much thanks to the television media, newspapers, Wall Street and internet, but one thing is for sure–modern items from the post-war era seem like a great investment!
Bradley Downs is owner of www.odd2mod.com in Atlanta.
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