ARCHITECTURAL FORUM October 1937. Domestic Interiors Special Issue: Rohde, Wright, Saarinen Neutra, and Born.

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Domestic Interiors Special Issue

George Nelson [Associate Editor]

George Nelson [Associate Editor]: THE ARCHITECTURAL FORUM. Philadelphia: Time, Inc., October 1937 [Volume 67, No. 4]. Folio. Wire spiral binding. Thick printed wrappers. 308 pp. 283 black and white images. Text and advertisements. 130-page special section devoted to Domestic Interiors. Wrappers lightly worn and mildly spotted. Textblock tight and secure. A very good or better copy.

8.75 x 11.75 spiral-bound magazine with 308 pages of editorial content showcasing the Architectural and Industrial Design of the American Streamline Moderne Machine Age aesthetic. There are also an excellent assortment of vintage trade advertisements that espouse the depression moderne streamline aesthetic quite nicely. You have been warned.

The Domestic Interiors special issue of the Architectural Forum — Volume 67, No. 4, October 1937 —  was devoted to the American reaction to the European Modernism slowly making its way across the Atlantic in 1937. 283 black and white images were carefully assembled to tell the visual story of Domestic Interiors in 1937. The effect is stunning to say the least.

Five designers were commissioned to produce projects specifically for the Domestic Interiors issue,  including Gilbert Rohde,  Russel Wright,  Eero Saarinen,  Ernest Born and Richard J. Neutra.

  • Introduction
  • Relaxation
  • Recreation and Study
  • Eating
  • Cooking
  • Sleeping
  • Circulation
  • Sanitation and Storage

This issue begins with an introductory text on contemporary design, and several sections on interior design trends, organizing space in the home, furniture and color, followed by a comprehensive visual presentation of interiors and furniture (many by Julius Shulman, Ezra Stoller, Richard Garrison) and plans with analytical captions.  The primary examples of the International style in terms of residential architecture in the United States during the 1930s are all highlighted. One of THE classic pictorial records of modern interior design in Pre-war America.

From the Introduction: “The House is a Machine for Living In: While we have not generally accepted the Le Corbusier House, our kitchens and bathroom at least, reflect his idea. Moreover, designers are learning that the small interior is not a large one compressed, and that the open plan cannot be decorated like the closed, formal room. Design, in other words is returning to basic principles.”

Designers, architects, and manufacturers include: Joseph Aronson, William Lescaze, Russell Wright, Arne Jacobsen, Richard J. Neutra, Harwell Hamilton Harris, Erich Mendelsohn & Serge Chermayeff, Eero Saarinen, Gio Ponti, G. Mazzoleni, G. Minoletti, & G. Palanti, William Wilson Wurster, George Nelson, Gilbert Rohde, Donald Deskey, Robert Heller, Rudolf Fraenkel, Antonio U. Vilar, Charles Lee Nutt, Frank J. Forster, Gardner Dailey, Maurice Dufrene, Edward D. Stone, Henry Dreyfuss, Raphael S. Soriano, Gilmer V. Black, Frank J. Forster, Beatty & Strang, Sewall Smith, Ernest Born, René Herbst, Salvatore Bevelacqua, Marcel Breuer, Isokon Furniture Co., Alvar Aalto, Artek, Emil J. Szendy, Eugene Schoen & Sons, Contempora, Fordyce & Hamby, John B. Manzer & Michael M. Hare, Alfred Levitt, Roy Blass, Henry Temple Howard, Hazel dell Brown, Edwin R. Closs, Harry E. Houghton, Albert E. Olsen, Samuel Oman, Benjamin Marshall, James F. Eppenstein, Robert Heller, Harold Spitznagel, C. Norris, Beverly and Valentine, Edward Stone, George Howe, Paul J. Alvarez, Gardner Dailey, Benjamin Marshall, Maurice Barret, Leonie Pilewski, Ernest Plischke, C. Coggeshall, The Manor House, B. Altman & Co., Michael Goodman, Arundell Clark, Mays, Simpson, & Hunsicker, Percival Goodman, Raphael S. Soriano, Allen McDowell, Nimmon, Carr, & Wright, Cameron Clark, John Luccareni, Robert Law Reed, Alexander D. Knox, Frederick L. R. Confer, H. E. Woodsend, Robert L. Davidson & John Callender, Mrs. Alfred Freeman, Virginia Williams, Schulz & Behrle, Verna Cook Salomonsky, Ralph E. Stoetzel, Ethel A. Reeve, Godwin, Thompson, & Patterson, W. & J. Sloane, H. E. Woodsend, Theodore Griley, McMillen, Inc., William F. Dominick, Richard H. Dana, Maurice Barret, Cora Scovil, R. W. Bauhan, James Blauvelt, Frederick G. Frost, Arden Studios, Thornton Fuller, Helen Park, Widdicomb Furniture Co., William Muschenheim, Nancy McClelland, Warren McArthur Corp., Heywood-Wakefield Co., Hekman Furniture Co., Thonet Bros., Woodward Furniture Co., The Howell Co., Frederick Parker & Sons, The McKay Co., Dunbar Furniture, Walter Baerman, Herman Miller Furniture, Celanese Corp., Collins & Aikman Corp., Marshall Field & Co., Desley Fabrics, Ronald Grose, Cheney Bros., Howard & Schaffer, Inc., Kent-Bragaline, Inc., Douglas Davidson, Witcombe McGeachin & Co., and F. Schumacher & Co.

This issue spotlights some of the more buget-conscious, lesser-known interiors of the period, thus supplying a more unique perspective than similar volumes that tend to showcase the iconic residences. In terms of decor, there is none of that Chippendale jive here-- every residential interior is decked out in full prewar, streamlined glory.