• 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…
  • 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…
  • The Colors of Fiesta I started as a collector and I’m a web designer, so I thought I would design a website from my passion. I threw it up there and people just found me and it started to take off. Fiesta is made in West Virginia, and I’m from West Virginia originally. I was a thrift store fanatic in college, and I would see this unmarked colored dishware that just really caught my eye. That was probably Riviera, beca…
  • 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…