Yesterday’s House of Tomorrow

The House of Tomorrow is one of a series of cartoons directed for MGM by the influential animator Tex Avery in 1949. He pokes fun at the technology of the future as well as at the live action promotional films common in mid-20th century theaters. With one gag after another (typical of Tex Avery’s work), this cartoon previews what a modern home and its appliances would look like in the middle of the 21st century. Most inventions are customized for mom, dad, junior, and the ill-fated mother-in-law, who bears the brunt of the cruel jokes. Avery’s work wasn’t known for being politically correct, but then again, many animators and directors in his day produced cartoons that would raise eyebrows today. Of course, not all cartoons produced today are politically correct, either, for that matter.

In any event, this one is an amusing look at the future as seen from the past. Other short films in the series include The Car of Tomorrow, The Farm of Tomorrow, and The T.V. of Tomorrow.

This is… Miroslav Sasek

Miroslav Sasek was a Czech painter, author, and illustrator of the “This Is…” series of books that introduced children to iconic cities (and countries) around the world. What we like most about his work, other than the international flavors he was able to capture so well, is his stylized treatment of architecture, vehicles, and people. From the Twiggy-like blonde model in the “This is London” book to the pipe-smoking, beret-bedecked sidewalk chalk artist in “This is Paris,” his Mid-Century Modern depiction of people and places is simply delicious. It makes us want to acquire his entire series for our library, and then pack our suitcases for a round-the world adventure. Here are some examples of his work:

Lounge Lizard in the Desert

lounge lizard

Do blondes have more fun? Maybe when a lounge lizard picks up the tab. And where better to find a lizard than in the desert? The setting for this original illustration (and for my blog banner) was inspired by the quintessential desert playground from the mid-century, downtown Scottsdale’s Valley Ho. This modern architecture jewel of a hotel was built in 1956 but lost a bit of its shine in the 1970s. Happily, it reopened in 2005 after extensive restoration and is now as gorgeous as ever — just like our barefoot blonde sipping summer cocktails. Be sure to check out happy hour at the ZuZu Lounge.