Mid Century Pop Culture Examiner will serve as thee time-tunnel to vintage goods and new releases that display a deep connection to the curvy aesthetic groove of Modernist design. Books, documentaries, films, fashion, music, theatre and other pop paraphernalia will be explored in upcoming essays.
"Mid Century," "Modern" and "Popular Culture" are wide-ranging terms with discrete definitions. Mid Century Modern is an architectural concept, while the similarly derived Mod is at once a fashion movement, a style of music and a persona. The label of "Pop" has been applied to the art of Andy Warhol, or popular music released in the wake of the Beatles' phenomenon. To another person, Pop could mean where you’d file a Frank Sinatra or Nat "King" Cole record at a shop. Modern Jazz and the progressive nature of African-American popular culture at Mid Century could often be a catalyst for the Civil Rights movement.
Chrome or suede, baubles, bangles or beads, it's hard to imagine such identifiers of our common experience sans the idioms that make each simple element part of a larger thought. Good productions are a complete package, and like asteroids, they pass by or hit you randomly. The underlying trends they inspire can't be set to someone else's release schedule. Vivid representations today include echoes of the 1940s (Swing, Burlesque, Bebop), 1950s (Rhythm & Blues, Rockabilly, Film Noir), 1960s (Exotica, Lounge, Folk, Psychedelic and Soul) and early '70s (Blaxploitation Cinema, New Hollywood Cinema, Proto-Punk). What can be seen in the film Chicago or the television show Mad Men, heard in the White Stripes’ Elephant or reclined by at a W Hotel or The Standard hasn't materialized out of thin air. These are reconstructions culled from long-gone points of view.