• Eames, Nelson, and the Mid-Century Modern Aesthetic As a teenager, I collected everything from vintage bicycles to Coca-Cola to Victorian stuff. Once I realized some of this stuff contained concepts of art and design, I started looking for vintage objects that also represented art or design movements that could hold my interest. I ran across Art Nouveau and then Art Deco and then Arts and Crafts and then streamline modern. Visually it all led up to…
  • Stuart Lonsdale Explains the History and Design of Gouda Pottery I think it all started with a small pottery vase my mother obtained from the art pottery shop where she worked in the early 1920s and ‘30s. After she died in 1988, I didn’t initially didn’t take much notice of the vase, but then one day I just happened to look underneath and wondered what all the marks meant. I started trying to research it, but it was very difficult because we didn’t have the Int…
  • Cowan Art Pottery of the Art Deco Era I’m the curator here at the museum in Rocky River, a suburb west of Cleveland. I look at Cowan pottery from a historian’s angle because this is part of Rocky River’s cultural history. I’m not a collector, but I personally enjoy and value Cowan pottery. I was on the board of trustees of the library about 10 years ago and did a lot of work to make sure that the Cowan Pottery Museum continued and was…
  • Mid-Century Modern Furniture, from Marshmallow Sofas to Hans Wegner Chairs Mid-century Modern used the technology of mass production to produce good-looking pieces of furniture out of the latest materials. A number of these materials became commonplace after World War II, so the idea was to make things affordable. These were not “custom-made pieces.” When you bought a Tiffany lamp, even though that was a production piece in its day, it was also a handmade piece that cost…
  • Bowes Curator Howard Coutts on Meissen, Staffordshire, and Sèvres I’m the curator of the ceramics bit of the Bowes Museum. It’s a big museum with 30 galleries of which three or four are devoted to ceramics alone. Within Britain, it’s got one of the biggest and most expensive groups for people to see. We have about 5,000 or so pieces in the collection. We’re not sure exactly. It’s all registered, but of course we get tea sets registered under one number, so I thi…