Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Modern Photo of the Week - Vintage Allen-Lambe House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Name: Allen-Lambe House
also known as the Henry J. Allen Residence
Allen was Governor of Kansas from 1919-1923 and a United States Senator from 1929-1930
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Year Designed: 1915
Year Built: 1918
Location: 255 North Roosevelt,Wichita Kansas
Type: Residential
Style: Prairie Style (this is a very late FLW Prairie Style House)
Status: Excellent and open for tours by appointment
Photographer: Unknown

Henry J. Allen Residence, located at 255 North Roosevelt. This residence was designed by architect, Frank Lloyd Wright in the Prairie House style. It took two years to complete. Allen was Governor of Kansas from 1919-1923 and a United States Senator from 1929-1930

Modernism at Risk - Kivett and Myers

I was in the Crossroads area of Kansas City, MO the other day when I saw the Kivett and Myers and McCallum designed commercial building in the Mies Van Der Rohe manner, with clean lines and walls of glass. . .
I stopped, got out of the car and took theses snapshots of the building. Click on images to enlarge.Upon closer inspection, I could see deteriorating elements such as cracked and missing blocks on the "light and shadow" lower facade. . .Many metal frames are rusted and up close you can see the differed maintenance. This is a great looking little building done in 1961. Sorry for this last shot, the sun wasn't cooperating. I wanted to show the juncture of the tiles and the way the tile wall kind of makes your eyes vibrate. Note the door with cool handles.It looks as if it feels taken for granted, so many cars pass by daily. We can ill afford to lose another K & M designed building. We should be celebrating K & M buildings, but unfortunately we've watched some of them deteriorate and/or get torn down.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Cover Boys of Modernism

What a photo! I wish I was a fly on the wall for this photo shoot.

Can you name all of the Design Stars of Modernism in this photo from Playboy Magazine without looking? Perhaps their chairs give you clues to their identities. The furniture from left to right is, Herman Miller Serving Cart (unknown model), circa 1950s; Dunbar 5480 "A" Cane Back Chair, 1954; Knoll 70 "Womb" Lounge Chair, 1948; Knoll 421 Small Diamond Chair, 1950; Herman Miller DCM Chair, 1946; "Caribe Hilton" Open Armchair, 1949.

And the Cover Boys of Modernism from left to right are, George Nelson, Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames, Jens Risom. Some were life long friends, others were serious rivals and competitors. Bertoia worked for Eames at one point, but had a falling out. Saarinen and Eames designed the groundbreaking designs for the New York MoMA's Organic Design in Home Furnishings. Eames and Nelson were the primary designers for Herman Miller.

The egos that must have filled the studio while taking that picture. How did they get all of these Design Heroes in the room together? Or did they get them together. Maybe it is two or more photos joined together. There is a peculiar gap in the middle, but that could be the photographer planning ahead for the gutter of this two page spread.

A while back I purchased this July, 1961 issue of Playboy Magazine that contains this article and photo spread and I think it is the best Playboy centerfold ever. This is Modern furniture P O R N. I told my wife that I just bought the magazine for the pictures, not the articles.