Trudging towards the baggage claim at SFO around midnight on Saturday, grumpy from having endured a two-and-a-half-hour flight delay, we were cheered by the discovery of a fairly extensive exhibition of Russel Wright's mid-century design
for the home. Wright was really one of the first designers to mass-market beautiful, affordable home décor items. Examples from many of his collections, including his furniture designs, are on display at the airport through September. See more after the jump...
Wright's designs were intended to promote a casual, easy home life and entertaining style, the appeal of which is maybe even more obvious today than it was in Wright's heyday. The muted colors, smooth curves, and practicality of these items might sway even those who are feeling a bit tired of mid-century design. When they first appeared on shelves, Wright's dinnerware and barware were unlike anything else on the market. The rimless plates of his American Modern collection, for instance, marked the outset of the era of the informal table.
We found ourselves lingering by the spun aluminum collection (first photo above), maybe because it hasn't been reproduced to such an extent as the other designs. But the combination of materials used—cool aluminum with bands of honey-colored cork and carved wood—is really lovely, and the circular handles make a dramatic statement.
The exhibition runs along a hallway in Terminal 3 at SFO; unfortunately it's after security, so only ticketed passengers can visit. But there are decent photos of the collection on the airport's web site, and Danny Seo took some good shots for his blog when he was passing through SFO (in daylight) recently too.
If you like the look of Wright's designs, keep an eye out at flea markets and antique shops. Here are a few previous Apartment Therapy posts about Wright's collections:
• Russel Wright American Modern Line Reissued
• Mary & Russel Wright's Guide to Easier Living
• Good Quotes: Russel Wright