City of Necessity, a 22-minute documentary from 1961, explores race, class, life, and culture in midcentury Chicago. WBEZ writeup by Lee Bey.
The Douglas Fir Plywood Association presents Second Homes for Leisure Living . . . here are 18 new leisure-time homes, built with fir plywood for comfort and economy. [via]
Somewhere in-between the space-age bachelor pad sounds of Esquivel and the gimmicky novelty of Spike Jonze sits Mel Henke, one of the most overlooked originators of the mid-century lounge sound. While most famous for versions of All That Meat, 77 Sunset Strip, and Pennies From Heaven, his largely instrumental wink-wink-nudge-nudge album La Dolce Henke is considered his masterpiece - The Lively Ones - The Twisters - You're Driving Me Crazy - Woman In Space - Farmer John - Old McDonald Had A Girl - See The USA In Your Chevrolet - Last Night On The Back Porch (Warning, historical sexism, erotic car metaphors)
"Great war novels inevitably follow great wars, and in literary circles following World War II, everyone was wondering what would be the successors to A Farewell to Arms and All Quiet on the Western Front — and who would write them. But when John Horne Burns, age 29, in his small dormitory suite at the Loomis School in Windsor, Conn., on the night of April 23, 1946 (Shakespeare’s birthday, at that), finished The Gallery — 'I fell across my Underwood and wept my heart out,' he later recalled — he was convinced he had done just that, and more. ‘The Gallery, I fear, is one of the masterpieces of the 20th century,' he wrote a friend." (SLNYT) (via) [more inside]
The legendary Swiss graphic designer Donald Brun (1909-1999) was a master of the Object Poster (where the image is paramount in selling the product), an artform that thrived in the early and mid-20th Century before cheaper paper and printing and distribution methods made it virtually obsolete. Brun's work is marked by humor and whimsy, bright bold colors and shapes, a wide variety of graphic styles (although it is often compared to classic children's book illustrations), and animals. [more inside]
Grossinger's Hotel used to be one of the most popular resorts in the Catskill region of New York State. The resort served as a playing ground for the famous stars of the time like Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Robinson. But, like most things, its popularity faded and by 1986 it closed its doors forever. It has remained abandoned ever since. (Buzzfeed, Now and Then photos)
Welcome to Arts & Architecture. In the case of some, maybe, welcome back...Old-timer. On this website you will find selected projects from issues of the magazine 1945 through 1967. [more inside]
In the late 90s EMI's Songbook Series released an album, "Where Were You When The Fun Stopped" with tracks chosen by author Hunter S. Thompson along with detailed liner notes. Since you can't get the cool notes or photos, why not enjoy Hunter's country and folk flavored taste at your July 4th revelry of choice? Ballad of Thunder Road - Robert Mitchum : I Smell A Rat -
Howlin' Wolf Big Momma Thornton : Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum : The Hula-Hula Boys - Warren Zevon : Maggie May - Rod Stewart : The Wild Side of Life / It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels - Hank Thompson feat. Kitty Wells & Tanya Tucker : Will The Circle Be Unbroken - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band : Mr Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan : Walk On The Wild Side - Lou Reed : If I Had A Boat - Lyle Lovett : Stars On The Water - Rodney Crowell : Carmelita - Flaco Jiminez feat. Dwight Yoakam : Why Don't We Get Drunk - Jimmy Buffett : American Pie - Don McClean : White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane : The Weight - The Band : Melissa - The Allman Brothers Band : Battle Hymn of the Republic - Herbie Mann (cover) [more inside]
Can't get enough of the Darwyn Cooke New Frontier aesthetic? Etsy artist "Roganjosh" offers more midcentury modern superhero posters. (Mostly Marvel, though.)
Mid-century American decor's holy trinity of materials were steel, linoleum and plastic., all of which are on display in these galleries from Plan59, which also brings us cars, trucks, food and more. (Including a blog).
Photographs of American Cities from the middle of the 20th Century.
An exhibit of the art of Radebaugh and what the future looked like from the 50's. "The post-World War II optimism that pervaded the nation extended to the not-too-distant future, with its promise of spaceship-traveled skyways whirring in a utopia of streamlined cityscapes. Now, the works of A.C. Radebaugh -- a top illustrator of the day whose works helped define that future-vision -- are being shown in a retrospective at a quirky art gallery obsessed with Americana of the mid-20th century."