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Much Ado About Mushrooms

Updated: May 12, 2023

As vintage enthusiasts, we brace ourselves when anything with a mushroom on it finds its way into our store. Why? Well, we know items like the ones below are going to fly off the shelves. Honestly, we just hope we don't have to break up any fights!

But one of the most common things we hear from people who aren't "into" vintage decor is this:

"What is the big deal with mushrooms?!"

Well, allow us to explain...

From kitchen canisters to stools to lamps, mushrooms are a popular motif in mid-century modern decor, and their whimsical, organic shape can be found in a variety of vintage artwork, furnishings, and decor. The use of mushrooms in MCM design reflects a growing interest in nature, organic forms, and the psychedelic movement of the 1960s.

One of the most iconic mid-century modern artwork featuring mushrooms is the "Mushroom Chart" by French botanist Roger Heim. The chart, which was created in 1955, features colorful illustrations of different types of mushrooms, and was used in classrooms and laboratories. Today, the "Mushroom Chart" is a popular wall decor item and can be found in vintage and modern designs.

In addition to artwork, mushrooms were also used in mid-century modern furniture design. The Mushroom Chair, designed by Pierre Paulin in 1960, is one famous example. The chair features a rounded shape that resembles a mushroom cap and sits on a circular base. The Mushroom Chair was designed to be both comfortable and playful, and it quickly became a symbol of mid-century modern style.

Mushrooms were also used in mid-century modern lighting design. The Mushroom Lamp, designed by Verner Panton in 1960, features a large, curved shade that resembles a mushroom cap. The lamp emits a warm, diffused light, and its playful shape makes it a popular choice for mid-century modern interiors.

The Sears' Merry Mushroom line was a popular line of kitchenware and home decor that was sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. in the 1970s. The line featured whimsical designs of mushrooms in various colors and sizes on items such as canisters, mugs, plates, and cookie jars. While the Merry Mushroom line was popular at the time, it has gained a cult following in recent years, with fans collecting and displaying the pieces in their homes.

So, our response to those folks who don't understand why there is much ado about mushrooms, is simple: If you know, you know. ;)

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