Mid Century Down Under

If you have read this blog before you will know that I am a huge mid century modern fan. And indeed, it seems that everybody and their dog is also a MCM fan these days!

I mean, what’s not to like with the clean lines, the elegant style and the post war optimism of the furnishings and architecture from the period? Yes please, I say! I just want to fill my house with some of that goodness, read every book I can find on the subject, ogle MCM pictures on Pinterest and hope to find some decent West German pottery priced less than £19.95 in my local charity shops (I mean come on! Seriously, how much?)

So now that MCM is a mainstream thing, its safe to say that everyone has heard of most of the American architects/designers from the period like your Eames, Bertoia and Nelson. And I think that most enthusiasts have also heard of the big European players like Jacobsen, Wegner, and the Days etc. Plus we can all tell the difference between our vintage Ercol and G Plan pieces.

…..But what about designers and architects from Australia? Can you name any of them? I couldn’t until recently!

Thanks to Instagram a whole new world of MCM goodness has been introduced to me in the last few years!

Because Australia had a booming economy in the 50’s and 60’s with the influx of new immigrants to the country and because importing furniture from America and Europe was so expensive, they designed and made their own furniture (and Pyrex!) instead!

Today I am just going to introduce a few of the designers, manufacturers and architects as I am far from an expert on the subject (or anything else really) and I still have lots to research and learn about Australian MCM. As an enthusiast its good to see that lots of bloggers and Instagrammers down under appreciate their beautiful MCM buildings and objects and want to preserve their rich heritage in todays throw away society.

Grant Featherston is probably one of the most famous names from the period. His contour series and R160 lounge chair pictured below are probably his most famous work.

Image from Click on image for link.
Image from Click on image for link.

Harry Seidler is one of Australia’s best know architects from the period. The Rose Seidler house in Sydney is a masterpiece (IMO) that I would love to visit. If only I could stomach the flying part to get to Australia that is!rose6rose4

Images from Photography by Darren Bradley.
Images from Photography by Darren Bradley.

Parker Furniture was a furniture manufacturer of rather nice teak sideboards, dining tables, dining chairs and other pieces. Check out the hashtag on Instagram!

Image from click on image for link.
Image from click on image for link.

And Some further reading for you if you want to find out more on the subject – I recommend Retro by Adrian Franklin and Iconic Australian Houses 50/60/70 by Karen McCartney.

My Aussie MCM books
My Aussie MCM books
From inside Retro some Australian designed and manufactured furniture goodness.
Inside Retro – some Australian designed and manufactured furniture.

6 thoughts on “Mid Century Down Under

        1. Me too! I have sorted the link out on “his contour series” if you want to check out the full range. ( As I accidentally added the Wiki page twice, whoopsie!)

    1. Hi, sorry for the delay getting back to you, I rarely log in to my blog these days! Its Farrow and Ball in Dimpse. Very pricey but very nice paint!

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