All That Jazz – Wall Decor from the 1950’s

Jazz Musician Plaster Wall Plaques – circa 1955

You can almost hear the sax and the bass coming from these fabulous mid-1950’s decorative wall plaques. Plaster (or chalk) wall decor was prevalent in the 1950’s but often leaned more to the traditional in their theme. These modern beauties have a sculptural feel reminiscent of the figures by Alberto Giacometti.

What is also unique about this quartet is simply the fact they have survived intact and without a chip. These mid-century marvels are currently on display at The Purple Moon.


Trick or Treat – Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein

Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein – One Sheet – 1974

This cult classic from writer/director Paul Morrissey and producer Andy Warhol follows the ill-fated attempts of Dr. Frankenstein (Udo Kier) to create a racially pure master race of zombies by mating a perfect woman (Dalila Di Lazzaro) to a perfect man. Unfortunately, in choosing a head for his male subject, the misinformed doctor makes a rather unfortunate selection.

Much hilarity ensues…

Not really, but a fair amount of sex and gore. This film is not for your basic red-state viewer.

Titled Flesh for Frankenstein in non-US releases and on the more recent DVD release this film was done back-to-back with Blood for Dracula which also was a Morrissey film done in “collaboration” with Warhol.

Warhol actually had limited involvement in the production of these films unlike many of the earlier Factory movies.

I watched this movie last night on FLIXe and must say it is one the better films of Mary Shelley’s story of reanimation, although with a considerable amount of sex and bizarre behavior thrown in. Morrissey captures the essence of the tale while at the same time both honoring and parodying Italian film making in the genre of Fellini.

I’ve had this one sheet from the 1974 film for quite some time and it now is decorating the front window of The Purple Moon for Halloween.


Just a Modern Guy at One Year

A Modern Guy’s First First Birthday – December 1, 1959

Today marks the first birthday of the Just a Modern Guy blog. I began this, as I do many things, just to see how it works. What I have learned after a year is that it works only if I work on it and, most importantly, only if people visit here and find some value in what they find.

While obviously an extension of The Purple Moon, the little vintage gallery the modern lady and I own and operate, I have tried to utilize this site as a place to expand on, rather than sell, our vintage products. I’ve also learned to just have some fun, be a bit creative, and sometimes this has led this site a little beyond it’s original mission. I offer no apologies for posts which may have seemed “off topic”. Frankly, after reviewing all of the posts from this past year, in my opinion they all seem to fit in one way or another under the broad heading of Vintage Style for Modern Living.

Some obvious thanks are in order. First, thank you to my loving wife and partner who has suffered through my pecking on the computer in the wee hours. I also want to thank the other bloggers out there who have shared their experiences, suggestions and space on their blogrolls. My friends at 304blogs deserve special mention for their outstanding work making not only this site but many others more accessible and manageable.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has passed through this little corner of the web. I’ve been surprised not by the number who have come but by the friendships we have built and the stories you have shared with me. It’s been enough to keep me going – at least for another year!


Holt-Howard Cantaloupe Bowls – 1959

Set of 4 Bowls – Cantaloupe Pattern – Holt-Howard – 1959

The Holt-Howard Company of Stamford, CT was formed in 1948 by John and Robert Howard and A. Grant Holt and produced some the more whimsical household and kitchen items of the post-WWII period. Most of the ceramic items, like the set of bowls shown in the Cantaloupe pattern, were produced in Japan.

The Cantaloupe line had cups, a coffee server, cream and sugar plus a condiment set in addition to these bowls. This line is relatively scarce having been in production only in 1959.

Virtually all Holt-Howard items are marked and dated which makes collecting these pieces easy – if you can find them. In my experience good pieces, free of chips or other damage, are not frequently obtainable.


Caption This… #6

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Caption This… #6 closes on Monday, November 3rd..


Caption This… #5

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Caption This… #5 closes on Sunday, November 2nd..