Our names are Shannon Aaron and Sue Jacobson, we live in Boston, Massachusetts. Wow! It's hard to believe it has been almost four years since we first opened our ModHaus store online. What a thrill it's been to meet so many others who share our obsession with the many unique elements of the mid 20th century style. From the smallest, most ephemeral item to those that test the limits of our freight carriers, we're thrilled to find each piece a new home. But more importantly, each one of our customers and visitors has become a part of our growing 'Haus'hold. The response and encouragement we've received has been beyond our imaginations. And, with our newly installed database, our plan is to keep the site updated with new merchandise as often as possible, so please be sure to check back regularly. Our special thanks go to Barry Bryant, our webmaster and creator of GOMOD, for the tireless work he has done in building the world's finest online community for Mid Century Modern. We're proud to be a member of it, and if you follow the link on our home page you'll find many other wonderful dealers there offering just about anything a mod lover could wish for. We're also immensely grateful each time a new customer drops in from having seen us mentioned in print, from InStyle magazine to Lucky, TimeOut, Fortune, Miller's Antiques Guide and all the foreign publications we wish we could read.
Just five years ago, on our very first date, we both knew within hours that we were meant for one another and that somehow we would have to find a way to bring our shared vision of the world into focus. Our mutual fascination with mid century design made it all the more inevitable. So, we got married, and in the midst of restoring an 1840's row house, launched this site, deliberating at length over which items from our own collections we would part with for that first round of inventory.
Not surprisingly, we've both been involved in the decorative arts most of our lives. Shannon was born and grew up in San Antonio, Texas before later moving to New York. After moving to Boston he became the editor of a major New England antiques newspaper for six years and has worked at numerous galleries and a major auction house. His tastes run from eclectic handcrafts of the 20th Century to textiles and ceramics, plastics, metalwork and any form of art that defines its time. He also collects American Impressionist and Modernist paintings and comes from an artistic family. His great great great grandfather was John Dawson-Watson, a well known pre-Raphaelite painter from London. Dawson Dawson-Watson, John's son, was an important impressionist and a founder of the 19th century artist's colony in Giverny, France centered around Claude Monet. His great grandfather Edward was also a noted WPA era artist.
Sue's lifelong affliction with collecting began in Los Angeles around the age of 12. Long before the days of the internet and ebay, she would pore over her mother's copies of the Antiques Trader, circling advertisements and ordering items from record and rock memorabilia dealers with her baby-sitting money. Later, she ran a thriving underground rock poster business from her dorm room at Wellesley College. Her interest in civil rights and employment discrimination law eventually lead her to become a union-side labor lawyer. But her free time was devoted to music and the arts, and her wide range of collections: modern, pop and 'outsider' art, Charles Bukowski rare editions, Irish literature, Jean-Luc Godard film posters, Mexican Day of the Dead figures, and modernist studio jewelry (of course!). Sue's family is immersed in the art and antique business. Her mother, now retired, was a widely known dealer of modern art in Los Angeles and her sister owns a major film and rock poster gallery there. Her brother is a dealer of estate jewelry in Beverly Hills.
In this website you'll find examples of many of the things we both enjoy most from the late 1950s through the 1970s, particularly the "golden age", which for us occurred around the time we were born in the early 60s. Everything you see is vintage and original to the period. Ceramic arts might be represented by Scandinavian designs as well as American, German, Italian, Israeli or Japanese pieces we find noteworthy. Paintings, prints and sculpture needn't be by important artists to capture the essence of their time. We're always on the hunt for the vanishing material of the Beat and Hippie generations - clothing, jewelry and odd objects for the home and virtually anything in the spirit of William Morris's advice to "Keep nothing in your house which you do not believe to be beautiful or useful."
When we first opened this site in 1999, the planet was abuzz with fears of the coming Y2K. Miraculously, the world didn't end. But if history is any guide, a turn of the century often brings us to look nostalgically at the basics of civilization. The dawn of the 19th century, for instance, sparked a revival of the classic arts and learning inspired by the Greeks and Romans. The 20th century likewise saw a return to the honest origins of handcraft through the Arts & Crafts Movement. For many reasons, the pulse of most serious collecting these days seems to be a renewed look at the profound contributions of the Modernist Movement, a period all but obscured by the tragedies of war, assassinations, changing cultural values and the drug thing. In its simplicity of design, organic forms and craftsmanship, the best of this period marks a culmination of all the previous reforms and movements of the 20th century. In our minds, some of the most compelling designs ever yet produced.
Hopefully, you'll like what we have to offer here. If you have any questions or would like to request additional photos or information on a particular item, please let us know. Since this can only represent a portion of the items we have available at any time, let us know if there's something special you're looking for.
- Thanks so much for looking and
Shannon and Sue, August 2002