Friday, September 16, 2011

Personal Archaeology: John Dickinson

ar·che·ol·o·gy (är'kē-ŏl'ə-jē)n.The systematic study of past human life and culture by the recovery and examination of remaining material evidence, such as graves, buildings, tools, and pottery.

.......and "vintage" magazine articles....


 We have been sorting through old papers with my Mom. .....just doing our part as a family to stave off becoming another victim of the Hoarders TV show. It is tough to stay ahead of the curve sometimes when one loves to collect.

Mom came across a keeper in the piles of paper that seem to reproduce like bunnies, especially when the mail arrives everyday with another pile of catalogs and pre-approved credit card offers. An article she had torn out of the June 1967 issue of House and Garden (oh how i miss thee!) features "a young San Franciscan designer of furniture and interiors and an accomplished draftsman" who " lives with his three cats in an old firehouse".....that would be the iconic John Dickinson.

 Many of you are quite familiar with John Dickinson and his famous furniture designs, some of which you can see on Diane Dorrans Saeks' The Style Saloniste blog about Dickinson HERE.  It is a wonderful article about Diane Dorrans Saeks friendship with Mr. Dickinson, well worth a visit! (BTW, if you have not visited The Style Saloniste, there is no other blog I have read that has more beautifully informative articles on the iconic persons in the world of design! A "must read!")

Some of you might have become familiar after seeing the three legged table designed by John Dickinson being purchased at the San Francisco Fall Antique Show by Million Dollar Decorator, Jeffrey Alan Marks. 

 Looking back at this article, it is plain to see that John Dickinson was ahead of his time, truly an original thinker. His ideas have become classics....white slipcovers, a collection ironstone platters as wall decor, antique mixed with modern, important pieces mixed with the everyday....and always his own designs adding character. It is hard to think that these ideas are original to us now because they have been used so much since then, but if you think the average person would never have thought to break up a matching set of furniture in the 60's (aside from the emerging designers of the era) his ideas were progressive.

I am still waiting for a book about John Dickinson to come out. Diane Dorrans Saeks would be the perfect author.

In the mean time, I will be collecting more articles I see about him and putting them in a safe place. Hoarding them you might say. 

You never know what future archaeologists might dig up when we are all long gone. John Dickinson would be a a person well worth discovering all over again.

Have a great weekend!


The Devoted Classicist said...

I loved John Dickinson's firehouse and don't remember seeing these particular shots. So this post is particularly appreciated.

penelopebianchi said...

Ditto! And I agree that Dianne is the best writer and most incredible woman!

I need to study this article! and Dianne would be perfect to write about this icon!

Good for Jeffrey Alan Marks!!

mary said...

Hi Katie,This is a great post. I read an article long ago about The Firehouse, but it was more recent than this super article. And from that moment on, I wanted to live either in a firehouse or an old one-room school house. I haven't found either a firehouse or a school house, but you just never know what is around the corner. I do love John Dickinson's design--especially the 3-legged toed tables. Have a great week-end. Mary

maison21 said...

love mr. dickinson's inventiveness, so am running over to diane's blog right now!

pve design said...

"up to date snap" now that is a nice motto to live by.
Funny, nothing looks dated in all that white. Just think if John Dickinson had done that firehouse all up in a color other than orange or red, it would have looked "out of date snap" - The art of editing is key.

Blue Muse said...

I loved this post! I am going back for further perusing of those photos. I agree, Diane Dorrans Saeks should definitely do a John Dickinson book with Lisa Romerein shooting!
Happy Autumn, sweet Katie!
xo isa

Geddes Ulinskas said...

Thank you for posting this article about John Dickinson. Very brilliant and I am a bit ashamed to admit I wasn't familiar with him. Love you blog and I will be stopping by often.