Real Modern

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More About This Title Real Modern


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.


Bronwyn Labrum is an associate professor in the School of Design at Massey University, Wellington, and was formerly curator of history and textiles at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. She has written widely about New Zealand’s cultural and social history, museums and material culture, and has a long-standing interest in the mid-20th century and its objects.