Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Little Chartreuse

Auctions and Estate Sales are filling my sunday afternoons and my research into Russel Wright's American Modern is paying off as I found a few more pieces to add to the table this week.I will add these chartreuse pieces to the growing collection of Chutney Brown and Seafoam dinnerware that has been accumulating in the our new house.

Looking through the catalog for the Auction I saw a what seemed to be a strange description 'cupboard contents' and when I took a closer look I saw the now familiar shape of these american originals.I brought them home for $35.

American Modern in Chartreuse
Morgantown Ad

A short description at the Kovels website tells us "... Russel Wright designed dinnerwares in modern shapes for many companies. Iroquois China Company, Harker China Company, Steubenville Pottery, and Justin Tharaud and Sons made dishes marked Russel Wright". I have seen references to additional lines including commercial sets so even Kovels has some gaps in their information - take a look on the web, Mr. Wright was very prolific!

The Steubenville wares, first made in 1938, are the most common today. My new pieces above are from this collection.

Glassware designed by Russel Wright was also manufactured by different companies through the years including:
Imperial Ad
  • Bartlett Collins (1957) "Eclipse" & "Sunburst" (I haven't seen ANY Sunburst but often see references to "Asterisk" are these the same?)
  • Duncan Miller Imperial Flair (Flare)(1959) "Seed"
  • Imperial Pinch(1951) designed to accompany "Iroquois Casual" 
  • Old Morgantown/Modern (1951) was handmade glass. It included three sizes of tumblers, five stemmed items, a dessert dish, a pilsner, chilling bowl and a double old fashioned. It was made in colors to complement the American Modern line. The colors included Coral, Seafoam, Chartreuse, Smoke and Clear Crystal.
    Russel Wright Morgantown Glasses to 'Harmonize with dinnerware'

In the auction cupboard contents were also 4 Morgantown seafoam tumblers, 6 of the seafoam sherbert dishes and a chartreuse tumbler. A great addition to the now growing collection of our Mid-Century Dinnerware.

Morgantown Glassware
During the 1950s, American design was characterized by an organic modernist approach that rejected hard-edged forms in favor of curving forms inspired by the human body and the natural world. When I hold a Russel Wright (1904-1976) Morgantown glass it sits lightly in my hand, the texture almost sensual, the form pleasing and familiar. The response to his contributions in bringing his passion "Good design is for everyone." to Americans created the first recognizable ‘brand name’ in lifestyle marketing centered on an individual. Russel was the Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart of his day...deservedly so.

Chartreuse and Seafoam Glass

American Modern Dishware in Chartreuse and Seafoam


Oh, Mr. Wright you continue to pull me into this organic #midcenturymodern vision of an environment void of hard edges and gratuitous excess - elegance in simplicity! Let nature dictate the form and thoughtful function follow ... Last week I found some American Modern dish ware in chartreuse and seafoam at an estate sale to complement the other pieces we have picked up. There were 5 place settings including a little black chutney thrown in for spice ... $45 and our table is a colorful splash from the #mcm palette ... 

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