Trend Living

Introducing Michigan Modern

As seen in Homes of Tomorrow, the J. L. Hudson Company was on the forefront of bringing awareness of modern design to late 1940s shoppers–what the department store referred to as “trend living”. In 1947, Saarinen-Swanson Group home furnishings debuted in Detroit, and later spread nationally. This new brand was the work of Eva Lisa “Pipsan” Saarinen-Swanson (daughter of architect Eliel Saarinen). She and her husband, J. Robert F. Swanson, were the main designers, along with a bevy of cohorts from the Cranbrook Academy of Art including Marianne Strengell, Charles Dusenbury, and Lydia Winston (daughter of architect Albert Kahn).

Terrace Furniture

The Saarinen-Swanson Group collection offered products in the shapes, materials, and bright colors most often associated with “Atomic Age” 1950s design. Furniture was manufactured by Johnson Furniture Co. in Grand Rapids, and the Bigelow-Sanford Carpet Co. produced textiles.

These images are part of the expansive Davis Hillmer Collection of retail photography.

Bedspreads and Draperies

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