The Real McCobb

So part of my new job is doing a ton of research.  Every show has to be super different with two different styles. So while we say ‘mid-century’ as a broad term, i have to break it down to a particular style or decade within that.  Long story short i’ve been researching the 50′s, trying to interpret it in a not so kitschy way.

So I found this vintage book, which i am now obsessed with.  It’s not necessarily the furniture, which, doy, is totes beautifuls, but its the styling of them.

I mean, its kinda weird right?  So graphic and clean.  In fact the only reason i even think its a photograph and not a drawing is because there are shadows places….but i can’t find photo credits, so it might just be a drawing.  And if so, then whoever drew it is real real good.

You know I love a sculptural fig tree.  And the amount of negative space is awesome.  kudos.

Quite the risk with that thin black and white  stripe, Mr. McCobb.  And awesome/strange placement of that plant.  Well done, sire.  Its totally cuckoo in such a sophisticated way.

Anyway, it makes me miss styling and working in photography…well ‘miss’ is weird, it’s like how you miss an old boyfriend that you thought you were in love with until you met the man of your dreams….more nostalgic, i suppose.

 

  1. There was a chair almost identical to that blue green one in the prop room at my college. I seriously considered stealing it on a number occasions, but when I remembered how many nude models sat on it for who knows how many years I talked myself out of it.

  2. akemi

    I can't continue living without a copy of that book!

  3. whisterpotpie

    I love your show, your style, your blog. So glad you are on the scene!

    You may want to know that when I see your blog in my blogroll, the title is – cleverly enough – Blog. You may want to have your technical gurus change it to Emily Henderson.

    Otherwise – carry on! I'm enjoying every bit of it!!

  4. Uh, YUM. That's my era right there. *dives into photo and lives happily ever after*

  5. brian patrick flynn

    Do you know that I often consider kicking myself in the nose for not having discovered your blog way before Design Star? It's like we have the same $#@&*@ thoughts on the same $#^&* stuff. My midcentury house in Atlanta is packed with Paul McCobb and Russell Wright; both made everything right and it's still remarkably affordable. Also, I have the HARDEST time ever deciphering what is a photograph versus a drawing when it comes to 1950's interiors images. Especially in the TASCHEN books. Stylistically, it's all so graphic and perfect that I feel like I'm in some kind of bizarre-o Jerry world at a Charles and Ray Eames cocktail party. The negative space KILLS me. And that thinly striped wallpaper is SICK and so freaking difficult to pull off both in reality and in a photograph. PS, my photographer and I are going to shoot my place with the same 1950's exposure and technology as these images to see how my updated midcentury aesthetic plays to the era's true photography trends. Damn, that was a long $#%&@# comment. Sorry.

  6. The photo's for the book were taken by James Yee a New York City based photographer who specialized in photographing design in the 50's.

    All of the photographs for the 1956 Directional Designs by Paul McCobb catalog (of which this book is a reproduction) were taken in color and printed black and white.

  7. You're as good as a writer as you are stylist. It's like you're talking to a friend. Love that!

  8. So I love negative space. And I wish I could shove it in everyone's face at work. Cause I'm a graphic designer and they're new to the whole negative space idea. They've never had a professional designer or a trained designer so they are into cluttering every page up and saying, "hey, there's a space, let's fill it" and I want to scream, "STOP!" and one time I did get on a soap box and preach design 101 about negative space. So I slowly fight my battles and dream of negative space and try to connect with people who know these things. But seriously how can you not innately love it? Even without training? What ails people?

  9. laure

    Streamlined. Impeccable. Love.

  10. that piece in the second picture with the striped walls. i have one so ridiculously similar in my bedroom. i use it as a dresser. i got it for $5 at an auction. yes that's right, $5. sometimes those people at the auctions have no idea what they're missing out on.

  11. HC

    haha, your article is exciting which is attacted me deeply,I can tell you have put into it 'some' effort. Thanks for sharing! jean paul gaultier eyeglasses

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