FROM THE EDITOR: A New Look and a New Issue…
The Fall issue of MODERN comes to you early, at a point when summer is not truly over. Most of us are sweltering, even those of us (me included) who have managed to get far enough north so that the thermometer manages to dip into the low 70s at night. As I write this, I am looking across a sand dune at a large body of water, which is a fine activity for the end of summer.
But enough about summer: even from a distant northerly perch, I am so pleased to be introducing MODERN’s current issue to you on our beautiful new website. The website gives us enormous flexibility to post original and timely stories (a great asset for a quarterly magazine as MODERN is), as well as to enhance our print edition with slide shows and even an occasional video. You will see more “live” reporting from shows and sales, galleries and museums. The credit for this fantastic new site goes to the talented and accomplished Dina Veprinsky, who is Director of Production for MODERN and for the other three titles in the Art Media Holdings portfolio (The Magazine ANTIQUES, Art in America, and ARTnews).
MODERN has not—as of yet—had themed issues. Instead we cast the net wide to see what might be most interesting, to find stories that resonate with our central idea that design and architecture reflect culture and history and give us insights into both time and place. Sometimes the issue ends up with what seems to be a loose theme; in this one, one might say it was preservation—of architecture, history, culture.
The story by Leen Creve about four contemporary design galleries in Brussels is a perfect example: it is a story tinged with pathos, written not long after the terrorist attacks there but imbued with a powerful sense of national pride and an overriding optimism. Clotilde Luce’s article about the newly restored Villa Cavrois in northern France sheds light on the sometimes overlooked modernist architect Robert Mallet-Stevens, but it also importantly discusses how the French government acted to save an endangered architectural treasure. Two other features—one by Jenny Florence and the other by Doug Meyer—take us to very different summer enclaves on Long Island, one artistic and the other, well, more sybaritic.
Another set of features (one written by our too-often-behind-the-scenes general editor Eleanor Gustafson, and the other my own work) take us inside homes a continent apart that actually share not just a design aesthetic but a profound appreciation for mid-century design as a counterfoil for beloved antique treasures. In this issue we also profile two great minds, each of whom changed the course of design history, and each in very different ways. Arlene Hirst turns the pages of a new book on Giulio Cappellini and reflects on the many ways he transformed Italian design manufacturing and opened up the Salone del Mobile to the world. Our senior editor Nicole Anderson talked with the “polymath” (as we dubbed him) David Rockwell shortly after he, within a twenty-four-hour period, won a Tony for his brilliant set design for She Loves Me and launched a new line of furniture, called Unscripted, for Knoll. Nicole’s interview looks at some of the ways in which Rockwell has expanded the boundaries and meaning of architecture and design.
And there’s still more.
MODERN’s print subscribers know how jam-packed each issue is. The Fall edition also looks at contemporary jewelry, contemporary architecture, and at the work of young Israeli designer Sharon Sides—while at the same time probing the history of a William Lescaze chair that brought a high price at auction and unraveling the mystery of the long-lamented murals from the Alexander’s department stores. Our managing editor Annette Rose-Shapiro looks at new avant-garde tabletop offerings from venerable European glass firms; Katrine Ames (whose column, Extra Ordinary, delves into the history of an everyday object) explores the candle.
And that’s not even all of it.
You won’t see everything at once (that privilege is reserved for subscribers, and if you want to be one, just click on the link on this page). We’ll be posting the stories from this issue in a tantalizing and systematic way over the next few weeks. I am quite sure this will have you returning to the MODERN website over and over again, as you should. (If this were an email, I’d insert a smiling emoji right here.) For now, all I can say is:
Watch this space!