Real Modern: Everyday New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s

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9780994104175: Real Modern: Everyday New Zealand in the 1950s and 1960s
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The decades of the 1950s and 60s continue to exert a powerful fascination, and in New Zealand, these postwar years have been remembered in popular culture as a golden age. But what was life really like? Real Modern tells a vibrant and varied story of this compelling era through images and, above all, objects—the things that New Zealanders acquired and desired, that they used at school, work, or play, and that they wore and saw from the country to the suburbs to the city. In hundreds of gorgeous new photographs from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and collections nationwide, readers will encounter not only much-loved vintage and retro memorabilia and mid-century design classics, but also ordinary, surprising, and unique objects. Each is accompanied by lively, expert, and informative descriptive text that links these pieces to the people who owned and used them, and to New Zealand’s wider social, political, and cultural history.

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From the Inside Flap:

The decades of the 1950s and '60s continue to exert a powerful fascination, as seen in the lasting popularity of Mad Men, Crown Lynn collectibles and mid-century design. In New Zealand, these years have been remembered in popular culture as a 'golden age' of God, Queen and Country, full employment, the baby boom, Sir Edmund Hillary and 'Ladies, a plate!' - as well as the birth of the teenager and the seedbed of later change. But what was life really like? Real Modern tells a vibrant and varied story of real life in this compelling era through images and, above all, objects. It is a rich compendium of the things that New Zealanders acquired and desired, that they used at school, work or play, and that they wore and saw around the country. Accompanied by lively and expert text by author Bronwyn Labrum, these objects evoke everyday life and offer insight into the social, political and cultural history of postwar New Zealand. Featuring hundreds of stunning new photographs from Te Papa, New Zealand's national museum, and collections nationwide, Real Modern is a celebration of the things of the 1950s and '60s and the people who used them. It is a fresh and nuanced view of these familiar yet surprising times. 'Like an archaeological dig, objects give meaning to an era in history. Real Modern does just that for the '50s and '60s in New Zealand - going beyond the usual Kiwiana and retro labels. A fascinating read.' -Wallace Chapman, radio and TV host

From the Back Cover:

'For those who lived through the 1950s and '60s this book brings back powerful and intimate memories of daily life; for those who did not, it reveals a fascinating and surprising world.' -Jock Phillips, historian 'The very best kind of nostalgia. Bronwyn Labrum documents ordinary lives with wit, colour and an unsentimental eye.' -Kate Camp, poet 'Delicious, disturbing, surprising. Real Modern takes us to the world of things we once loved and dreams we could believe.' -Charlotte Macdonald, historian '"Joyful" is the perfect word to sum up this book. And the clothes are just gorgeous.' -Catherine Robertson, author

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