The Rising Star of Mid Century Modernism

1950 s Less is More interiorTonight I am attending the second meeting of the newly – formed Edmonton Heritage Homeowner Association. The point of the group is to see each others’ homes and be good resources for each other in terms of materials and services that we all invariably need. The group consists of owners of heritage homes (obviously), regardless of their age – although most homes represented are in the first 25 years of the 20th century.

Tonight will be different,however, because we will be touring and meeting at a mid – century modern home that was built by well known local architect William Blakey – long since deceased. The owner is justifiably proud of her home and she has long lobbied for these younger homes to be part of historical inventories.

Mid- century modernism’s star is on the rise. People are interested in the styles, mostly because they are being splashed across the fronts of contemporary decorating magazines. This creates fans – but a lot of misconception too. Several furniture styles from the 1920’s were “dusted off” and saw a rebirth in the 1950’s so many people mistakenly believe they originated at that time.

I will be teaching a course at the University of Alberta starting on February 20th about Mid Century Modernism. I’m glad to have time (6 weeks) to explore the social issues of the time and how they affected art and interior design. Nothing ever happens by itself and it does take a certain amount of time to pass so that a person can look more objectively at what happened and see how everything inter-relates. On the other hand, it’s OK to just enjoy the styles without ever knowing anything else about them! 🙂