Fred MacMurray, the not-so-Modern man
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The 1946 photo by the legendary Maynard Parker shows the Brentwood living room of actor Fred MacMurray. Where are the Eames plywood chairs and Noguchi coffee table, you might ask? Despite what you may see during Pacific Standard Time, the Getty-led celebration of postwar California art and design, midcentury wasn’t as Modern as some might think, writes Sam Watters in his latest Lost L.A. column:
Exhibitions across the region will revisit the buildings, furniture and tchotchkes of a mythic halcyon time when Americans finally woke up to the genius of 20th century design, casting aside failed traditions for Formica futures. ... What actually got “buried” in this modernist tale are the stories of Americans who didn’t belong to the boomerang table and plywood set. They, like the MacMurrays, found reassurance in decorating that began with George Washington, not George Nelson.
For more on how much of midcentury America really lived, read Watters’ monthly column, a look at the homes and gardens of times past through the lens of contemporary culture.