The Best of British, Mid Century Modern design.

06-09-2018
by T Thomas

 

Last week we discussed what we meant by Mid Century Modern and how we describe it. This week I wanted to explore the fantastic contribution Briton has made to the Mid century Modern furniture movement.

 

While many of us think of Scandinavian designs when thinking of Mid century furniture, we simply can not ignore the quality and staying power of the popular designs by British designers.

There are many British MCM designers to browse from, however the four that stand out for me are none other than Robert Heritage, Richard Young, Earnest Race and of course my personal favorite Gordon Russell.

 

Gordon russell,

1892-1980 was born in London in 1892, then moved to Worcestershire in 1904, to live in hotel his father bought.

 

Gordon Russell was best described as a “design pioneer”. Influenced by the arts and crafts movement of 1904

and after servinggordon russell in World War One he became a furniture maker and designer and in 1925 he won gold medal at the Paris exhibition with a cabinet.Taking his influences from his schooling in Chipping Campden school, the destruction of WW1 and the need for post war, modern design furniture, he went onto win many accreditation's, chair several design councils and was knighted in 1955 for his services to design, With his life's work based on quality in design you can see this even after his death in 1980 by visiting the Gordon Russell museum in Worcestershire.
If you are looking at buying a piece of Gordon Russell today you are assured of investing in a piece of quality, with its design having achieved the test of time. His furniture will continue in popularity in todays times and into the future as highly desired and sought after pieces of utility art.

 

Gordon Russell and Eamest Race would have crossed paths at Chipping Campden school.

 

earnest race

 

Ernest Race was born in Newcastle in 1913 and died in London in 1964.

 

Race designed for the festival of Britain in 1951 with his most famous piece being the Antelope chair. His designs are described as quirky and uplifting in the wake of the world wars, bringing an English take on these design years. Many of the British designers did not only work alone but also collaborated with other stand out designers of there times, with Gordon russell and Ernest Race both working with Robert Heritage.

 

 

 
 

 and went onto study at Royal College of Art Londonrobert heritage drum table.

Heritage then became a professor of furniture design 1974, Most of Robert Heritage's furniture was designed for manufacture Archie shine. Heritage did many designs but is mostly remembered for sideboards and Drum tables. These are characterized by classic, bold lines with grained woods which were the most expensive materials of the day such as rosewood.
 

 

 

 

Last on our list is Richard Young who was born is 1930 and co-founded Merrow associates in 1964,with Percy Wyett and Peter Weeks.

 

merrow associates deskYoung studied, as did Robert Heritage at the Royal college of Art and then at the Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen. With this educated background he focused on quality not quantity, with his famous mixture of Rosewood, chrome and glass that were retailed mainly by the highly acclaimed Harrods and Heals.

 

 

 

 

 

If you are lucky enough to be in the market for a high quality piece of Mid Century Modern furniture then please remember these four great British designers, who can certainly rival the sought after Scandinavian designs of its era.

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