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April 26 (charity preview) Public Event 27 - 28, 2013 - DAADS Michigan Modernism Exposition

The Detroit Area Art Deco Society’s (DAADS) Michigan Modernism Exposition Preview Party was held at the Southfield Civic Center Friday night, April 26, and a more impressive furniture, decor, clothing and art festival of early to mid-twentieth century and impressionistic items would be hard to find. The dictionary defines “Modernism” as “a style or movement in the arts that aims to break with classical and traditional forms,” or “a movement toward modifying traditional beliefs in accordance with modern ideas.” The DAADS refers to the people who attend the expo as “mid-century enthusiasts.” The only way to better describe this exposition, other than droning on loquaciously via adjectives, superlatives, and mutilated metaphors is by using photographs, and we’ve proceeded to overdo that to our great pleasure in this coverage.

Detroit Metro Mashup sent three photographers to capture the event and it was such a tasty affair that we’ve uploaded something on the order of 88 photos and a video for your viewing pleasure. In addition to the decor, furniture, artwork and mod items, we photographed a fashion show displaying apparel from The Peacock Room in Detroit and got some quality shots of Cari Cucksey of HGTV's Cash and Cari show, who attended as the honorary chair for the preview party. We also spotted well-known photographer Linda Solomon and Doctor Golden of DOC Sexy Specs fame.

Guests were treated to strolling wine and hors d’oeuvres from 2 Unique Catering, which provided a variety of palate-pleasing savory items. Evan Perri of Hot Club Detroit had a quartet on hand to provide music for the entire evening, while a vintage 1931 Studebaker President Eight served as the centerpiece of the auditorium. The crowd that attended the expo seemed to be well-acquainted with the types of quality items exhibited, which ranged in price from quite affordable to several thousands of dollars. This was the type of event that made this writer feel something of a gap in education with regard to Modernism. I realized that even though I could generally recognize it, I sometimes wasn’t sure what it was and often had little idea of its value; I felt like a child in a toy store. But what made this even more fun was talking to the exhibitors and feeling their exuberance about their items and their excitement at being able to display them at this expo. They knew who designed and built their tables and when, where the artist fit into the milieu of that time and style, and they certainly knew what they had with respect to its value and a fair price.

Although an impressively good time, the Michigan Modernism Exposition has loftier goals than just our pleasure. Proceeds from the preview party provide funding for the DAADS scholarship within the Historic Preservation Program at Eastern Michigan University, yielding opportunity for the study of 20th Century architects, building materials and architecture. It also supports the free events that DAADS holds during the rest of the year.

We at Detroit Metro Mashup would like to thank our gracious DAADS hosts for having us there to photograph this party. Derek Spinei, president of DAADS, did a great job getting the entire exposition organized in his first year as President. Gary Spondike was a great help to us while we were there, along with everyone who worked with us leading up to the exposition.

The exposition continues and is open to the public on Saturday, April 27 from 10a.m. to 6p.m. and Sunday, April 28 from 12p.m. to 5 p.m. Anyone interested in mid-twentieth century decor and collectibles should go take a look, you won’t be sorry.

More information about The Detroit Area Art Deco Society can be found at