Docomomo US
Articles: Growing up Modern
DATE: 16/8/2018
Modernism has been described in numerous technical, architectural, and scholarly ways. It has not commonly been expressed from the inside out, as in, how it was to actually live with the main characters of that era. To understand the architects, designers, and artists of the midcentury, the following essays may elucidate the deeper as well as more mundane parts and pieces of the players. In learning about how their children experienced them, we can glean more of what was behind the sleek designs and innovative ideas.

We all believe, or at least believed at the time, that our childhood was normal because it was familiar and to what we had adapted. As adults, we can reconsider and evaluate what was unusual about our youth in positive ways or troublesome in other ways. How did family interactions as well as creative commissions result from internal beliefs, individual characteristics, and the intermingling of all of the above? How did who our parents were affect their work? How did the spouse, the marriage, the children influence their endeavors? How did our parents affect who we turned out to be?

The five wonderful and exceedingly different stories offered here present a peek into the private world of several geniuses. It would take an entire book (which some of our authors have graciously written) to fully describe what was behind the scenes but we are treated to at least a taste of what it meant to "grow up modern." It has been a delight and honor for me to gather the articles and to work with others who are part of an unusual club of having famous creative parents. My wish is that you enjoy them as much as I have.

Celia Bertoia
Guest Editor


To get to know the shared stories: website