Modern Furniture in America
While in college, I apprenticed for a couple of Herman Miller designers, an experience just as valuable as the design school I was attending at the time. Many of my professors were graduates of the Cranbrook Academy of Art, home to some of the first influential architects & designers from Europe bringing their design talent to this country. I learned and loved all the designers from Cranbrook and, as a student, had the delightful opportunity to meet Ray Eames in a quaint Grand Rapids diner. Just as George Booth, the founder of Cranbrook Academy in the mid-nineteenth century, Architects and Interior Designers continue to be purveyors of good taste and quality.
From Cranbrook Academy:
"He, George Booth, hoped its influence would banish tasteless, mass-produced goods from American homes. He believed that craftsmanship would result in superior products and provide the foundation for an ethically responsible life. Cranbrook would come to support those ideals and satisfy the desire of its founders to achieve something of lasting value and significance."
The wisdom of Mr. Booth, over 100 years ago, still rings true now more than ever. The majority of the cost reflected in cheap furniture is due to catalogs and marketing. As a design professional, I continue to try and specify sustainable, ethically made products. Our online home decor shop, Dixie & Grace, offers classic design and quality products made by extraordinary artisans. Dixie & Grace is your link to the exclusive world of interior design.
Photo by James Haefner, courtesy of Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.
Above is an example of a room that is considered a classic. Designed many years ago, it continues to maintain a lasting beauty.
This year I enjoyed a very in-depth and exciting course on Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Viennese movement, and the beginning of Modern Architecture, as well as modern houses of the nineteen fifties and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. JEAN JOSEPH RENOUX art and architectural tours and classes are very inspiring and filled with intriguing personal stories that he blends into the history of the great artists that have shaped our design culture.