Friday, October 12, 2007


Yesterday, I visited the new Perelman Building at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and while the architecture itself was something to see, for me the most interesting was the Collab exhibit, Designing Modern: 1920 to the Present.

All those Saarinen and Eames chairs remind me of my great-uncle's house, a mid-century modern affair in Northern New Jersey. The first time I stepped inside and spotted the furniture, I was enthralled.

In the living room, there was a Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona chair. Upholstered chaise lounges shaped like the letter S. And wire Bertoia chairs. They could have been reproductions, but who cares? To me, they were like stepping into another world.

My own family's living room had pseudo-French Provincial furnishings, practically roped-off from the younger set. So know that someone in our family understood this modern design was riveting.

It was an introduction to modern lines, textures and colors that I had never seen before. I remember thinking that this is exactly the kind of furniture I could feel content to live with. Maybe I was five years old at the time?

And now, every time I see a collection of modern furnishings, it just feels like home. My own home.

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