Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Russel Wright On TV"

This week the return of the series "Heroes" features the largest collection of Russel Wright's American Modern dinnerware that I've ever seen on television -- outside of the spot with Anne Wright featured on the Martha Stewart show. It looks to be a mix of chartreuse, granite grey, coral, and seafoam. I wonder who on the show's set design staff was responsible for setting up this apartment kitchen, obviously they are a big fan of RW. I might snoop around the Heroes blogs to try and find out.

The American Modern collection photo above is from the Russel Wright Design Center site portfolio (see sidebar for URL). If you like Wright's designs, originals can sometimes be found in remote corners of your Aunt Tilly's attic, or antique shops and flea markets.

Some originals and out-of-production reissues by Oneida can be found at:

Current reissues can be purchased at:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Autumn, By Sinatra"

Some autumn inspiration from Frank, to accompany a few beautiful photos that capture "Autumn In New York".

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Design By Dansk"

Who knew that stainless steel and wood looked so good together?

Dansk has, for fifty years. They've been making classic modern teak pieces since the Mid 20th century, and are still making classics for the future.
See some retro Dansk classics at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Bergman Estate Auction"

I was intrigued to read on "" that Ingmar Bergman's estate is being auctioned off this month via Bukowski's Auction House. Personal items ranging from photos, awards, Mid-20th Century modern design home furnishings and accouterments, old cameras, collected artworks, movie posters, the clapperboard used for filming "The Silence", and what is believed to be Death's chess set in "The Seventh Seal", are on the block. Being a Scandinavio-phile, this fascinates me and I only wish that I could bid on something from this amazing collection. Anyone who enjoys Bergman's films, or just Scandinavian design and collectibles, would be interested in seeing these auction items even if bidding is out of the question. Be sure to click on "Browse The Catalog" on the side menu to see the entire collection, it's incredibly personal to Bergman and many interesting items of 20th Century days gone by are included.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Industrial Art At NASA"

This shot of a NASA centrifuge room reminded me of a Mondrian painting.

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Space Advertising Couture"

Louis Vuitton (along with Annie Leibovitz and her ace photo-shopping/SFX crew) have commemorated the 40th anniversary of man landing on the Earth's Moon in LV's July release advertisement. As far as I can tell, the bag in the image is nothing out of the ordinary for the LV line (no special compartments for a flight helmet or pilot's kneeboard and aviator glasses), but the Louis Vuitton Core Values advertising campaign has chosen to wisely include one man who walked on the Moon, another who cheated death while orbiting the Moon and returned to tell the story, and the first US woman in space, to distinguish their product. Well done Louis, and very nice advertising artwork. I also like the use of 'Mater the rusty truck from the movie "Cars" for the rustic Americana touch. :-)
See the LV site:
Behind the scenes shots:

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"3D Space Photos"



Look at one of the photo sets above, and cross your eyes just a little until you see three images side by side instead of two. The image in the center field of view will be a 3D version of the picture.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

"Merry Christmas"

The Birth of Jesus, Pietro Cavallini, 1291 (mosaic) Rome, Santa Maria Trastevere. Cavallini (c. 1250 – c. 1330) was an Italian painter and mosaic designer working during the late Middle Ages. His work demonstrates an artistic style known as Roman naturalism.

Detail of mosaic:

Friday, December 5, 2008

"Happy Birthday Mr. Disney"

"Walt once said, 'If we can dream it, we can do it.' Then he showed the world how to give cartoons a heart, make an animated feature film, and build Disneyland. Experts bet on his failure at every turn. When Walt did encounter major setbacks he had a way of turning them into a success." -- excerpt from "Walt Disney, The American Dreamer" by Tom Tumbusch.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Autumn, by Charlie Harper"

"Charley Harper (August 4, 1922 - June 10, 2007) was a Cincinnati-based American Modernist artist. He was best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations. In a style he called "minimal realism", Harper captured the essence of his subjects with the fewest possible visual elements."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Lego Shushi"

'Nuff said. X-D

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"For Those Who Follow LOST-TV"

The imaginary "DHARMA Initiative" group from the LOST TV series has a booth at the San Diego Comic Con this week. That's a long story in itself, but the D.I.'s new look is intriguing. Gone is the hippie-commune style that the LOST creators devised for the original 1970s incarnation of the D.I., and an updated stylized design has taken its place. I like it, it looks like a futuristic version of Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie style, or a space-aged Arts and Crafts movement. Photos are courtesy of LOST fans' long-standing man-on-the-scene in Hawaii, who has provided us with many set location images over the past four seasons of LOST.

Monday, July 21, 2008

"Bill Sienkiewicz 'Dark Knight' Art"

It's movie-art time again! Today on "Ain't It Cool News" I found production and promo art for "The Dark Knight", plus a link to the webpage of the artist. I'm sorry to admit that I've never heard of this artist before, but at least I know about him now. He's done comics, movies, trading cards, album covers, and much more. Sienkiewicz uses a wide variety of styles and media to convey the feel of each subject, genre, and client, as the case may be. Definitely an artist to learn from.

P.S. The movie is amazing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"A New X-Files Comic"

With the second X-Files movie premier approaching this month, it looks like there will be a revival of the comics as well. The graphics look good, and intriguing enough for me to plan on checking this weekend with my comic store down the street as to the release date. :-) See more details here at the EW site:,,20211133,00.html

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Have You Seen Googie?"

Sure you have, even if you don't know it (and if you're old enough). "Googie" is the name given to the space-aged style design of commercial architecture in the mid 20th century, that reflected the zeitgeist of our overall futuristic mindset. Think of the Jetsons, and you get the idea. This style of architecture began and expanded mostly on the West Coast, but can be seen here and there (where it hasn't been torn down already) across the United States. Googie grew out of the streamline style, and mutated into the various shapes of stars, boomerangs, amoebas, flying saucers, rockets, and other popular images that evoked our intended future in space and beyond. Some of the best examples are coffee shops, motels, gas stations (see above, Palm Springs), fast food joints, and bowling alleys. Even McDonald's original golden arches were a part of the early Googie style, similar to the LAX building. Many futuristic Googie styles were also born at the Seattle and New York World's Fairs and copied around the U.S.

The sweeping arches and jutting supports seemed to defy gravity and make customers feel as if they were next to, or inside of, a hovering spacecraft. Suddenly new buildings were sporting alien looking spires or floating parabolic rooftops. Even churches, especially Protestant, got into a (albeit subtle) futuristic mood resulting in some very ethereal houses of worship. And they were mostly made of clunky flagstone, concrete, and steel, mind you -- not the lightweight composite materials available today -- with lots of glass. This made the eerie floating effect of the designs seem all the more intriguing because of the contradicting heaviness of the materials. Designers had a lot of fun with lettering as well. Text hovered all over the signage, and resembled bubbles, stars, and other heavenly objects of our imagined birthright to the universe. Colors used were often the popular shades of the 50's -- mint green, melon, turquoise -- but when outer space was put into the mix, any bright neon colors on the background of dark blue space were appropriate.

Unfortunately most of these funky space-aged works of art have either been left to deteriorate on vacated lots, or are being systematically demolished, to be replaced by the bland imagination-less buildings (or the self-important gargantuas of New Las Vegas) currently popular today. Thankfully there are local organizations springing up to attempt to save these artifacts of the spirited era that conceived them, but many of the best have been lost. So go out and find some Googieness where you live, and take a few pictures just in case it won't be there very much longer.

A good book on Googie history:

Monday, June 2, 2008

"100 Suns Exhibit"

I saw an exhibit of Michael Light's (Full Moon, etc.) at the Knoxville Art Museum that I had forgotten to add this blog, until seeing the new Indiana Jones movie reminded me (also, Ohighway's book blog entry reminded me the second time, thanks!) Light has revived and reprinted archival images from government prints and negatives, and put together a large book and exhibit displaying the visual awe, wonder, and terror of nuclear bomb test clouds and plumes.

From his website/book: "A Note On The Photographs - The images in this book show U.S. atomic detonations from the era of above-ground nuclear testing, which lasted from July 16, 1945 to November 4, 1962. In that time, the United States conducted 216 nuclear tests in the atmosphere and oceans, and the Soviet Union conducted 217."

For the exhibit, the prints are enlarged to an average of 2'x3' feet in size, and the beauty of atomic energy itself is very evident. It's easy to understand why people who lived in Las Vegas used to go to the edge of town to watch the blasts, back in the day. The visual effects are amazing, and in the night images one can imagine how it might look to see stars being born in outer space when gazing at all that shining power. Back here on earth though, that power can be very detrimental. The exhibit was non-judgemental politically though, as far as I could tell. Light merely presents the glowing test blasts and clouds as they are, at the point of capture by various government personnel. For the moment his website is being revamped, and the images of the "100 Suns" book are not available. Next time you are in the book store, see if they have it, it's an amazing collection of images.