Scandinavian Modern

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SDR
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Scandinavian Modern

Postby SDR » Sun Jan 09, 2005 11:43 am

In searching the board I find almost no discussion of Scandinavian Modern design -- furniture, textiles, ceramics, glass, flatware, etc., though these objects were among the principal options homeowners had in the 'fifties for appropriately furnishing their new modern residences. Perhaps Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish design wasn't as popular on the West Coast as elsewhere?

The Saturday Home & Garden section of the SF Chronicle, Jan 1, 2005, leads with three articles on the phenomenon, illustrated with a few color photos of examples of Scandinavian collectible classics. Just as American servicemen and their families discovered European automobiles and imported the first ones to postwar America, so too did they find and bring back early examples of these furnishings. (A Hans Wegner "Wishbone Chair" retailed for $14. at the time!)

A recent discussion, on another forum, about flatware brought up the Dansk "Fjord" pattern, a sculpted stainless set available with turned teak handles. This pattern became an icon of postwar modernity; ad agencies used it in styling photos of food, including the new Swanson TV Dinners (to lend them a bit of upscale "class"?). (Other flatware choices for modernists at the time were Gense's "Focus de Luxe" and Oneida's "Accent." Table settings included pieces by Catherineholm, Arabia, Raymor, Iriquois, Midwinter and Gustavsberg, not all of these being Scandinavian).

A page on the jetsetmodern site mentions these, and other aspects of the trends in midcentury "table manners" and food choices (see Arlene Francis as an earlier Martha Stewart!) -- scroll down to the section on Kraft Spaghetti Dinner. . .

www.jetsetmodern.com/modernismsurlatable.htm

www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:50 pm

SDR: Oh yes, we call it IKEA. ; )

Actually Scandinavian works quite well and it's affordable. Scan Design, a west coast chain has some nice, affordable stuff. I got a maple and rattan dinnette set from them, rather timeless. Fit's well in my mcm interior.

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Postby SDR » Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:35 am

Well. . .It's a long way from Wegner and his contemporaries, to Ikea. . .but I'm glad that you found something you like. I'll check out Scan, etc.

It's a sure thing that almost anything from the current offerings at Scandinavian-design retailers, and even Ikea, will fit the bill for MCM houses, over the likes of Basset, Lane, Seth Thomas and the rest of High Point.

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Postby puzzle » Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:36 am

I inherited some Danish modern furniture that my parents bought in the mid-60's from a store in Torrance, CA called Contemporary Center. It's well-made walnut and teak furniture, and the style of some pieces are similar to some of the famous designs (such as Wegner's Wishbone chairs). I doubt it's designer stuff (only stamped Made In Denmark on the underside, and my parents were just starting out when they bought it), so the style must have been popular enough back then to make decent quality knock-offs that a teacher and a salesman could afford. I wish I could find a similar kind of furniture today. IKEA is great for the price, but I'd like something a little nicer that doesn't break the bank. :P

Thanks for the info about Scan Design - I'll have to check it out. Also, I was in Crate and Barrel the other day and saw a "Petrie" couch - not exactly what I'm looking for, but not bad for C&B.

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Postby SDR » Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:55 am

Keep it, and look for more -- I think post-war Danish and other Scandinavian pieces will be coming on as a viable alternative to other classic mid-century furnishings. As with some of those classics, certain Danish and Finnish (think Aalto) pieces are still in production. Then there's the Amrican version of this style, which went out long ago -- the low-slung chairs with turned legs, an exposed frame and separate, fixed or loose back and seat cushions. A roomful of that would look great in an Eichler, and could be had for a song (if you could find it), compared to the high-end Danish collectibles. The people who presently deal in refinished Heywood-Wakefield might do well to find, refinish and reupholster some of these "no-name" Scandinavian-style seating and case goods, and tables. I'd bet older real-estate, insurance and travel-agency offices around the city would have suites of this stuff just waiting for someone to make them an offer.

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San Diego Scandinavian

Postby Chimay » Fri Jan 14, 2005 2:12 pm

There's a store in Solana Beach (a very upscale suburb of San Diego), in the Cedros Design District, that's dedicated to Scandinavian design, and run by real-life Danes, I believe (at least they are all tall, blond, blue eyes, and have funny accents). Anyway, here's the link for their website:

http://www.shopdnagallery.net/

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Postby SDR » Fri Jan 14, 2005 7:01 pm

Yes, that's a nice indication of the Jacobsen / Kjaerholm 50's Danish / International (my term -- needs more research) style -- why are these second-placed to Eames / Nelson / Corbu / Mies, (or aren't they?) in the Modernist Pantheon? These designs contrast with the low-finish / no-finish teak, walnut or rosewood pieces that comprise the "native craft"(?) tradition of Scandinavian furniture.

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SkipHome
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Denmark 50

Postby SkipHome » Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:46 am

There is a very cool vintage furniture store on Melrose, between Crescent Hts and Fairfax, called Denmark 50. The owner regularly travels to Denmark to buy vintage furniture and brings back containers of it. You should see his underground garage warehouse of items waiting to be sold.
Danish Modern was huge in Southern California in the 60s.

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Denmark 50

Postby Modmel » Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:50 am

Hey Skip...,

I love that store, but when is it open? Do you know?
Several times it's been closed, when I'm nearby...

I'd love to check out some stuff in there...
Thanks for the info.

ModMel

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Postby Joe » Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:00 pm

Hey Skiphome, Planet Oranj has a bunch of Russel Wright, if you're still looking for it...

http://www.planetoranj.com/

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Postby SDR » Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:41 am

Found this at another site; thought I'd share it.

http://bloesem.blogs.com/wr_vintageceramics/
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Postby Connie » Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:39 am

Just recentyl, when visiting my mom, I noticed how much of this "old Scandinavian stuff" she has. Ceramics as well as stainless steel with teak serving peaces, salt and pepper shakers, bowls ...

Plus this rather famous chimp by Kay Bojesen:
Image

And this canvas which I like very much:
Image

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Postby hoodlam » Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:47 pm

during our thanksgiving road trip we scored this Fredrik Kayser dining room set in Hays Kansas. Norwegian Modern at its finest:

Image

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Postby SDR » Fri Dec 28, 2007 2:45 pm

Beautiful. Elliptical dining tables are too rare. . .

SDR


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