Last Sunday saw me visiting yet another exhibition, but this one was a bit different and only marginally ‘art’ (an observation that could certainly be challenged).
It was in fact a sale of mid-twentieth century objects, arranged like an exhibition, in Haggerston School, Hackney, London. Most obviously, it was about usable, domestic furniture, ceramics and decorative objects such as glassware and wall-hangings including a few paintings. Most of it appeared to be of the 1960s-70s rather than the 1950s (I was reliably informed that genuine mid-century material is becoming scarce and that this market is experiencing ‘age-creep’).
It was quite interesting to my archaeological eyes to see the sort of material which has not only survived but is now quite consciously collected some 50-70 years after it was produced. Perhaps ‘mid century’ could be ‘mid 5th century AD’?
The clientele was interesting too: dealers and collectors mingled with young couples seeking the ‘utility’ and Scandinavian-influenced furniture which is now fashionable again – the sort of ‘modern but then contemporary’ stuff which I was buying c1960.
It’s a bit disconcerting – and somewhat ageing – to see objects, like dining table crockery and my Anglepoise lamp, bought as trendy ‘new’ now desiderata as trendy ‘old’.