Posted by Jacqui
A moulded Plywood Elephant designed by Charles and Ray Eames
One of the most challenging design projects I undertook at design school was to develop collateral for a Mid Century Modern exhibition. Part of the challenge was the awe and respect that I had for our visiting lecturer. I was so fearful of getting it wrong and not impressing this guru of mid century style design that I totally immersed myself into the era and found a style that really gripped my creativity.
In America, Mid Century (pre and post war) Designers brought major innovations to the design process. They exploited the availability of new materials such as moulded and shaped plywood, fibreglass, wire mesh and synthetic resins. They explored new techniques, many of which grew out of the defence and aerospace industries and they defined modern American material culture.
So, it is with childlike excitement that I explore this new exhibition at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art
‘California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way’ is a gathering of industrial, architectural, commercial, fashion and craft design from California. It has been organised by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and presents over 250 objects, including an iconic aluminium 1936 Airstream ‘Clipper’ trailer and objects by the acclaimed designers Charles and Ray Eames, Henry Dreyfuss, Dorothy Wright Liebes and Raymond Loewy. You will also see household names like Levi Strauss and Mattel through displays of fashion and children’s toys.
Newspaper advert for The Clipper
Dress by Irene Saltern, 1960
Desk by Greta Magnusson Grossman, 1952
California Lobster two-piece swimsuit, swim trunks, and man’s shirt by Mary Ann DeWeese, 1949
Surfboard by Greg Noll, c.1960
And there’s a Pop up shop and Up Late Friday night events to enjoy.
Images and references from www.qagoma.qld.gov.au and www.lacma.org