art and objects

Vintage July 1961 Playboy Magazine with Feature on Mid Century Modern Designers


Ever laugh when someone said, “I only read Playboy for the articles”? You won’t anymore.

Up for sale is the July 1961 edition of Playboy Magazine. The Centerfold is nice, but the magazine’s real beauty is the spread on the masters of midcentury design — Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames, Edward Wormley, George Nelson and Jens Risom. It is a wonderful profile on the movement that broke the Maxim “form follows function,” written by John Anderson, then the editor of Interior magazine. Their’s was a generation of designers interested in the contour, shape and elegance of furniture, and one that created some of the 20th century’s most timeless pieces.

Don’t worry, the nude pictures aren’t so naughty. There’s only one naked lady, in addition to some suggestive photos in an article about a Paris cabaret, and a few lewd cartoons. (I included a picture of the centerfold, properly covered, with this listing). Most current issues of Vanity Fair are more racy than this old Playboy. I was surprised to see that this old edition is quite sophisticated, compared to the more juvenile bent of the contemporary version. About 3% of the magazine is devoted to girls.

Other interesting articles in this issue include an essay by Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey) entitled Machina ex Duex about the “coming obsolescence of man” in the “golden age of the machine”; a roundtable discussion on sex and censorship, featuring Norman Mailer and Judge Thurman Arnold (former law partner of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas and a federal appeals court judge in his own right); and a profile of modern day Jazz singers.

It will make you nostalgic for the 1960s. The Eero Saarinen Armchair with walnut legs pictured in second photo went for $156. (Apropos, I have four beautiful Saarinen Executive Chairs for sale as well.) “The Chair,” by Hans Wegner, went for $230. Coffee tables, dining tables, side tables, chairs, lights, lamps and headboards by Mies van der Rohe, Herman Miller, Knoll, Finn Juhl and Frederick Lunnin are also featured.

FREE USA SHIPPING.  (Please messages me for international shipping rates.)

Please note I have a number of these for sale, and this magazine pictured might not be the one that is sent. They are all in acceptable vintage condition. but might show some wear on the cover and binding.

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