Mid-Century Bookends

16 Aug

Midcentury Modern design is very popular today and there are bookends that clearly fit into this art style.  The style was first called 1950s style but soon outgrew material from that decade and became known as Midcentury Modern and now encompasses material from the end of Word War II to the nineteen sixties and into the seventies.  The style can be seen as a reaction against Art Deco, a style that lost its vitality after about 1940.  Art Deco furnishings had been geometric and sleek, so the new forms became curvaceous and organic.  Art Deco used new materials like polished or chromed steel or the new plastics of the times like bakelite and celluloid.  Midcentury furnishings used materials that had been generated by Word War II, such as, resin, laminates, plexiglass and fiberglass, and teak was popular.  Like Art Deco though, the Midcentury objects remained without superfluous decoration.

Photo of Ben Seibel Bookends

Free Form:  Height 5.5 inches, Gray metal, Foundry Jenfred-Ware by Levco Mfg., Artist Ben Seibel.  circa 1960. Notice the Midcentury curves.

A number of Ben Seibel designed bookends can be viewed at abenseibeldesign.  Click on Listing by Company, then on Jenfred-ware, then on Listing of Pieces, after which scroll down to Bookends.

Photo of Aubock bookends

Oval Form:  Height 4 inches, Bronze, Inscriptions: Aubock and Made in Austria, Artist Carl Aubock, circa 1955. Aubock was trained as a Modernist but adopted here to Midcentury curves.

Several Aubock bookends are sold today through the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum .

Photo of Scandinavian Teak Bookends

Scandinavian Abstract:  Height 7 inches, Teak, circa 1974.

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Posted by on August 16, 2013 in Art Styles, Modernist


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