20th Century Design Legends
As you know, the vintage furniture we specialise in at Modern Times is usually of the Danish, Dutch or Italian variety but that doesn’t mean we limit ourselves! We currently have some pieces by icons of French and German origin so I thought what a great time to shine the light on two legends of twentieth century design – Maison Jansen and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Shot by Brooke Holm. Styled by us! Falcon Chair by Sigurd Ressell, Drinks Trolley by Artemide, Palm Lamp by Maison Jansen, 'Nevada', Photograph by Brooke Holm, 'Animals' Painting by Esther Olsson, The Barcelona Couch by Mies van der Rohe, French Lucite and Brass Side Table, Rugs by Pampa
Maison Jansen was one of the world’s first truly international interior design firms and arguably the top design firm of the twentieth century. They were founded in Paris in 1880 and by the turn of the century their services were in demand by aristocracy and royalty across Europe. From here the firm continued to expand, opening up offices and ateliers in South America, North America, Europe, and Africa. The Maison Jansen style was luxurious and dramatic with a touch of the exotic but mainly drew on traditional European design.
Coco Chanel's 1930's Paris apartment by Maison Jansen
The furniture they manufactured, often one-off commissions, was mainly 18th century reproductions but Maison Jansen were not afraid to incorporate contemporary trends including Modernism and Art Deco into their interiors and custom designs.
Maison Jansen pieces are highly collectable and their interior projects that remain are preserved for posterity. The firm’s most notable project was The White House during the Kennedy years.
The Maison Jansen Palm Lamp, designed in the 1970’s, was produced in many iterations and it’s blingy brass with dramatic and opulent form oozes 1970’s hollywood glamour. Shop Maison Jansen Palm Lamp here.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Mies van der Rohe was an esteemed German architect, in fact he is credited as a pioneer of modern architecture! He designed numerous buildings including the famous Farnsworth House (1945) and the German Pavilion at the International Exhibition in Barcelona (1929) which both embodied his rigorous modernist principles. Mies summed up his design philosophy with his favourite sayings - ‘less is more’ and ‘god is in the details’.
The Farnsworth House designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1945. Image via Beth Bullock
Mies, like many architects of the time, designed furniture that also followed these new principles of modernist design, doing away with the ornate decoration of the previous eras which were seen as excessive and a waste of effort and material.
The Barcelona Couch originally in Harry Seidler's MLC Building, Sydney
The Barcelona Chair is Mies’ best known furniture design, originally designed for the Barcelona Pavillion in 1929, and a true icon of modernist design. The beautiful Barcelona Couch was added to the collection the following year both of which have been produced to his exacting specifications ever since.
The Barcelona Couch that we currently have in our collection came out of the Sydney MLC Building, an important building designed by our own proponent of Modernist design, Harry Seidler, in the late 1970s. The condition is excellent, testament to the enduring quality of the original design. Shop The Barcelona Couch here
The Best Christmas Gift Ever | Orders Close Soon!
We really love to mix up a little bit of the old with a little bit of the new. In the new camp we have the supreme talent of local furniture makers; Alex Rains of the 'Lex' range and Adam Markowitz of cross-breed 'Fred' table fame.
We know so many of you have been lusting after one these tactile, hand-crafted tables made from Australian Timber. Don't miss out on getting yours in time for the holidays! Think of it as the Best Christmas Gift Ever!
The Lex Table Designed by Alex Rains. Available made to order at Modern Times!
Corner Detail of the Lex Dining Table By Alex Rains. Available at Modern Times!
The Fred Table Designed by Adam Markowitz. Made to order from Modern Times!
Leg Detail of the Fred Table by Adam Markowitz. Available to order from Modern Times!
Orders for Pre-Christmas Delivery Close 2nd November!
Furniture, Modern Times News
Fred Wins Vivid
Who's Fred? He's a table designed by Adam Markowitz exclusively for Modern Times. We've been really excited to collaborate with Adam, having closely followed his Markowitzdesign studio projects since he returned from studying at the Royal Academy, Copenhagen.
The beautiful detail and joinery which attracted the judges attention at VIVID
With his practice now based in Melbourne, Adam continues to focus on "the intimate connection between design and fabrication," looking at the intersection between modern digital processes and traditional craftsmanship. He describes Fred as "a mongrel. A cross-breed." In fact, Fred is named after one of the Children of Princess Mary (who originates from Adam's spiritual home state of Tasmania) and Prince Frederik of Denmark. In short, he's "a royal of mixed blood."
We asked Adam to tell us some more about the inspiration behind the piece:
"We decided that a table would be our first collaborative project, as it can be visually striking whilst being of reasonably straight-forward construction. I set about designing something that was at once evocative of the training I had recently received whilst studying at the Royal Academy in Denmark - I had the ghost of my Danish professor in my ear: "What is this piece for? What is it doing? Can you take it away?". However while I wanted it to feel at home amongst Modern Times's mid-century pieces, I also wanted to introduce elements that were more contemporary - stronger lines, more assertive angles - and a celebration of joinery and materials that is more reminiscent of my time at the furniture school in Hobart."
Fred's award was presented yesterday by Jan Henderson, co-editor at (inside) magazine. The judges described him as
"quite elegant and sophisticated with very fine detail. The Fred table celebrates the beauty of natural, sustainably sourced Australian timber (Tasmanian Oak and Jarrah) combined with a modern and classic Danish design"
Lease Extended! Modern Times Relaunch
It’s time to celebrate! We’ve been offered a lease extension so we are hanging around in Smith St for a few more months at least. Yay!
We think this calls for a party! Join us this Thursday between 6 – 8pm. We’ve got a brand new shipment of vintage finds from Denmark along with new artworks and homewares. Whilst you check out our new wares enjoy a glass of wine kindly supplied by Dromana Estate and listen to the soulful tunes of DJ Ari. We’d love to see you there!
Here is a sneak peek of the beautiful new pieces we have in store…
Stunning, simple pieces in oak speak for themselves. Pictured here we have Kai Kristiansen Dining Chair Model 42 (we have a number available both in teak and oak) and the unassuming oak RY26 sideboard by Hans Wegner. The bright colours of Julian Martins artwork look so fresh with this combination too!
We are excited to welcome Amanda Dziedzic to the fold with her beautiful glass bonsais. Stunning grouped or as a special stand alone piece – the colours are divine! New works from popular Arts Project artists, Warren O’Brien and Julian Martin. Aaaand, how about the phenomenal grain on this Ib Kofod Larsen sideboard!! Whoa!
We have plenty of new sofas to choose from including this classic style in a faded camel leather. Cushions by Igloo Home are inspired by 1950′s stonewall designs and complement the mid-century style perfectly. New artworks by Ellie Malin need no introduction! Simply beautiful as always. Holding the setting together is another of our beautiful new sideboards, a H.W Klein sideboard in rosewood.
Hans Wegner Plank Chair teams perfectly with oak daybed by Borge Mogensen and get crafty with the many varieties of handy sewing tables. Handpainted clock hand by Sandra Eterovic, original artwork by Eleanor Voterakis.
H.W Klein recliners seem to call out for a cigar and a whiskey and Luscious Jungle brings life to mounted antlers. Screenprint by Ghostpatrol, original painting by Ruth Howard.
This is just a sample of the new pieces we have in store and we will have more pieces coming in over the next few months too. See our homepage too for more gorgeous pics of the new stock. Also stay tuned for our new website with WEBSTORE coming soon! We really hope to see you this Thursday night.
Modern Times News, Furniture