New! Improved! The Purple Moon Family of Websites

The Purple Moon’s main portal

It has been a busy time at The Purple Moon the past few months. We celebrated the fifth anniversary of the opening in downtown Charleston last month, had the blowout “vault sale”, and participated in the monthly ArtWalks- not to mention Festivall.

The project which has been on our back burner for some time though was the reworking of our websites to better serve our clients and keep folks up-to-date with all aspects of our business. Finally, that work is complete and we hope you’ll check it out.

Our main site,, is now an entry point to our four websites which focus on a particular area of The Purple Moon.

We are launching a new Mid-Century Shop which highlights many of the exceptional vintage 20th Century items available at The Purple Moon. This site has new search capabilities, more detailed photos and descriptions plus is integrated for use with social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, it is far easier to update so we will be able to share newly arrived items in faster.  The improved shopping cart and checkout process enables you to purchase items with ease.

The new Mid-Century Shop makes browsing and shopping easy

In addition to our mid-century household furnishings and accessories, art has grown to be an important part of The Purple Moon. With exhibits of vintage art as well as contemporary art by some of the regions hottest artists we wanted to better showcase these shows and exhibits. With that in mind we launched our Gallery site in May with detailed information about current artists and scheduled openings. This site has featured artists bios and examples of their work. While not an e-commerce site, feel free to contact us if you would like to inquire about purchasing works shown here.

The Purple Moon Gallery site highlights art shows and represented artists

As many in the Charleston area know, The Purple Moon has grown to also handling estate sales in region. While we are very selective and only do a few of these a year our PM Estate Sales site serves as the place for information regarding this service for both potential sellers and buyers. With videos and detailed descriptions of the items available at our sales we are able to connect collectors with items they are seeking and quickly liquidate estates for sellers. When you check out this site make sure you sign up for our email alerts so you can be the one of the first to know when we schedule a sale.

PM Estate Sales manages estate sales to benefit sellers and buyers alike

Finally, our Just a Modern Guy blog, which is where you are right now, fills in the gaps for all of these sites. We focus on aspects of collecting, detail the history of mid-century design and just generally cover areas we think may be of interest to our readers. This will now also be the place, in addition to our Facebook page, where we will let you know of new information on one of the other sites.

You are here!

Many suggestions by our friends have been incorporated into these site redesigns and we will continue to improve them as we go from here.  We hope you’ll take some time and explore our new formats and let us know what you think.


Employment Opportunities at The Purple Moon

The Purple Moon is currently seeking dependable, hard-working, intelligent people to assist in all aspects of our retail vintage shop and gallery. Applicants should be motivated, eager to learn and willing to work in all  areas of the business.  Saturdays and some evenings are required.

Apply in person at The Purple Moon, 906 Quarrier Street, Charleston on Tuesday – Friday from 11am to 5pm or on Saturday from 10am – 4pm.

You may download the application below and bring it with you (preferred) or fill out an application form when you come. Feel free to attach a resume but please also complete an application form.

All applications must be dropped off in person – no phone calls or mail-ins please.

Download Application (PDF)


Estate Sale This Weekend – February 6 – 7 – South Charleston, WV

PM Estate Sales, a service of The Purple Moon, will be holding an estate sale at 805 Montrose Drive in South Charleston on Saturday, February 6th from 10am – 4pm and on Sunday, February 7th from 11am to 4pm.

This small, but high-quality, estate has the treasures you are looking for in the great condition you expect from The Purple Moon. This estate includes a very rare Blenko 5929L decanter, sterling silver from Alvin, Jackson and Poole, silverplate items galore, dinnerware from Castleton and Lenox, figurines from Lladro and Hummel, artwork, and a 1974 Sohmer Company console piano with a huge amount of vintage sheet music and music books.
Great living room, dining room and bedroom furniture including a Thomasville dining set, French Provencial bedroom and a fabulous 1950’s bunk bed set! Sofas, chairs, accent table and much more.
Sale begins promptly at 10am on Saturday, February 6. NO ADVANCE SALES!

Here is the preview video of this great sale:


Deborah Herndon’s “Details” to Open

Rue Emil Zol Céret - Deborah Herndon - 2009
Rue Emil Zol Céret - Deborah Herndon - 2009

 Charleston photographer Deborah Herndon will be opening her first solo show, “Details” at The Purple Moon on Thursday, December 17th.

Herndon’s exhibit draws from photographs primarily taken in Southern France and examines the small details frequently overlooked.

“The history and culture of a place is often reflected in the details,” Herndon said, “it is there that you discover the nuance of the scene.”

Deborah Herndon is a fourth generation West Virginian, graduated from Marshall University and holds a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from St. Louis University. Her work has been judged into Allied Artists of West Virginia, Tamarack (Artisan Center) and the Allegheny Highlands Arts and Crafts Center in Virginia.

“Details” opens on Thursday, December 17th, with a reception with the artist from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Purple Moon, 906 Quarrier Street in Downtown Charleston. The exhibit runs through January 30th.


Melissa J. Tyson Opening – Friday, November 27th

Music Series #3 - charcoal on paper - Melissa J Tyson
Music Series #3 - charcoal on paper - Melissa J Tyson

Pittsburgh-based artist Melissa J. Tyson will be bringing her versatile work to Charleston in a new show opening at The Purple Moon on Friday, November 27th.

The opening coincides with the November ArtWalk.

Tyson uses ancient metalsmithing techniques such as alloying, soldering, forging, and enameling to make one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry pieces. She works with traditional precious materials, as well as her own hand-mixed alloys, found metal objects, and unconventional materials like bone and textile.

Also active in the fine arts, Tyson’s drawings, paintings, and mixed media works often share influences with her jewelry. Each incorporates found materials and explores themes such as traditional ornamental forms, topography, and sound.

Born in New Jersey, Melissa J. Tyson received a Bachelors of Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design, and studied abroad in Russia, Mexico, and at the Hocschule für Gestaltung, Pforzheim, Germany. Melissa is fueled and inspired by travel and has shown internationally in St. Petersburg, Munich, Hamburg, Milan, and Seoul, as well as in several US states. She currently works out of her own studio in Pittsburgh, PA. Additional information and images of her work can be seen on the artist’s website.

Music Series #1 - charcoal on paper - Melissa J Tyson
Music Series #1 - charcoal on paper - Melissa J Tyson

Tyson’s show at The Purple Moon will include works on paper, mixed media pieces and handcrafted fine jewelry. The show opens with a reception with the artist on Friday, November 27th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and runs through December 24th.

The Purple Moon is located at 906 Quarrier Street in downtown Charleston. Hours are Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Charleston ArtWalk Website Gets New Look and Added Functionality

Screen Shot of New Website for the Downtown Charleston ArtWalk

Just in time for the Holiday Artwalk Season the new and improved website for the Downtown Charleston ArtWalk has just gone live.

Featuring more gallery details and in depth notices of shows, features and openings in Downtown Charleston the website has developed to meet the needs of the growing crowd of art enthusiasts making the ArtWalk trek each month.

The new website is also optimized to allow for easy sharing of information with your friends using social network platforms like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

So stop by, take a peek around, and plan on attending the next ArtWalk on Friday, November 27th in Downtown Charleston.


Fund for the Arts – The Grape Escape

Visit three countries in one night on November 12, 2009 from 6:00PM to 7:30PM at the following locations:

Callen McJunkin Gallery – 219 Hale Street

The Purple Moon – 906 Quarrier Street

Taylor Books – Annex Gallery – 226 Capitol Street

Each location will feature wines of one country – taste vintages from Italy, Spain and Argentina while you enjoy the opportunity to see some of the best art produced in our region and beyond.

Tickets are $50.00 and can be purchased at the Fund for the Arts office (304)345-0775, Taylor Books or at The Wine Shop at the Capitol Market. Proceeds benefit the Fund for the Arts.

This event is sponsored by Appalachian Power, The Wine Shop at Capitol Market, Annex Gallery, Callen McJunkin Gallery and The Purple Moon.

We hope to see you!


Robert E. Martens – United Carbon Man and Other Works 1938-1953

More than a decade after his death, The Purple Moon will be presenting a very rare offering of sculptures by Charleston artist and architect Robert E. Martens.

Robert E. Martens was born in Illinois in 1919 but lived most of his life in Charleston, West Virginia. Martens studied architecture at Yale University and at the Cranbrook Academy of Art under Eliel Saarinen. Martens went to work for the Charleston firm of Martens and Son Architects with his father, Walter Frederick Martens, who designed several local landmarks, including the Governor’s Mansion.

In his career, the younger Martens designed such buildings as the United Carbon Building, the original portion of the Charleston Civic Center and Alderson-Broaddus College.

His work on the United Carbon Building (now Boulevard Towers) created a landmark in Charleston where Robert Martens’ sculptures still grace the entry portico on Kanawha Boulevard – including From the Fullness of the Earth (United Carbon Man).

Martens joined his father’s firm specifically in connection with the United Carbon Building commission. At that time Robert was attending the famed Cranbrook Academy which was at the peak of its influence and creative energy. A model for the building was created by Robert at Cranbrook, under the supervision of Eliel and Eero Saarinen. The staff at Cranbrook was also involved in the design and production of furnishings for the building.

The show of Robert Martens’ sculptures at The Purple Moon from the Robert Price Collection presents works spanning the period of 1938 to 1953 and include a 1941 bronze bust of the United Carbon Man. There are also sculptures which appear to have last been shown in a one man show of the artists’ work in 1955 at Woodrum’s Department Store.

In addition to the sculptures by Martens, The Purple Moon will also present rare original photographs of the United Carbon Building by Internationally-acclaimed architectural photographer Jean St. Thomas. These photographs, taken just as the building was opened in 1941, offer a rare glimpse into the modern design sensibilities of the original interior and furnishings of this exceptional Charleston building.

The show opens with a reception at The Purple Moon on Thursday, September 17th as part of the Downtown Charleston ArtWalk from 5pm – 8pm. Music will be provided by Tofujitsu.

The Purple Moon is located at 906 Quarrier Street in Downtown Charleston and hours of operation are Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.