Vintage 1960s Gravel Artwork Wall Art Drama Mask
The Mid-Century Modern Era Was From 1945 to Around 1965
The mid-century modern era was from 1945 to around 1965, and it was an extension of the early modernism movement. Even though it focused mainly on architecture, there was great interior design and product design in the post-World War Two era.
Much of this panel wall art was done in gravel, sand, glass, stones, and tiles. Some of the best-known, respected influences of the era include designers such as Charles & Ray Eames; the movement also had great effect on the California-based builder Joseph Eichler, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It was Wright whose earlier work is said to be the cornerstone of the mid-century movement in architecture.
Many intricate pieces during this period were made of gravel in a mosaic and rope cord type design. Today, this kind of art is both kitschy and a beautiful example of mid-century modernist art. Today, they are very collectable. Stone and pebble mosaic from the 1950s and 1960s (in the strict sense of the word) was an art form in transition. These stone mosaics were popular because of their beauty and the efficient production methods of modern mosaic companies of that time.
Vintage Mid-Century Modern Pebble and Gravel Art Drama Mask
These Mosaic Pictures Have a Magical Effect
Back in the 1950s and 1960s gravel art made from crushed stone were made into amazing mosaic with great artist inspired pictures and themes for homes and office walls. These vintage crushed rock or gravel art pieces or mosaics are now very popular to collect and show. They can give a home or office that "Mad Men" look for a wonderful retro theme. There is braiding and tiny barrel beads in many of these timeless pieces. Once on the wall these mosaic pictures have a magical effect on one’s emotion and mood.
These Grave Mosaic Art Kits Came in a Variety of Designs
The Gravel Art Is an Example of the Modern Danish Movement
In the mid-20th Century in the United States cultural changes brought about many changes in social thinking, political views, and in the economic in general. The American middle-class flourished and began buying news and different things, among other things, very modern and new age art that was being mass produced for the new mobile and savvy middle class.
Today some collectors call art from this remarkable era kitschy, some call it retro or very modern, other just love it, and want to collect it and have it in their homes.
The mosaic gravel art pieces shown in this article are an example of this modern Danish movement. These were made from kits which came complete with gravel, and braids and string for the border edges between the bright and glassy colors, glue was included and the design already printed on a canvas’s board. In many ways this was much like the paint by number kits that were also sold at this time period. These gravel mosaic art kits came in a very wide variety of designs and price range for the tastes, and pocket book of the consumer.
You Can See the Attention to Detail in These Mosaics
The Picturesque Kit Is Complete, All the Materials You Will Need
Family Fun, These Folks Loved Making Gravel Mosaics
In the 1960s, Andy Warhol said, “An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.” During this era there were many great kits, and Gravel Art manufacturers of these gravel and pebble mosaic art styles. The remarkable thing about this type of art is you could make everything from exotic pebble birds, poodles, bull fighters, to Greek drama mask. In the 1960s everyone needed some new age art for their new home in the fast growing Danish modern suburbs of America, and there were mosaic artists, and manufacturers ready to provide "do it yourself" mosaic art kits to this new and growing middle class in the United States of the 1960s. These folks loved making these mosaics, they became family projects and many people to great pride in their self-made mosaic artwork that they had made around the kitchen table.
Two Lovely Vintage Mid-Century Gravel Wall PIeces
Beautiful Vintage 1950s Gladiator Gravel Wall Art by Picturesque
PQL-9 Golden Image of Buddha by Picturesque
Mosaic Gravel Art Tropical Dancers
1960s Gravel Stone Mosaic Retro Drama Mask Wall Art
“Picturesque” Made All Kinds of Mosaics
During the 1960s era those gravel art kits were really quite amazing, and it very tragic that no one manufactures them anymore. Many kits were to be made by a company called the General Crafts Corporation. The brand name of the mosaics produced by this company was called “Picturesque”. They made everything from Drama Masks, Golden parrots, Beautiful Dancers, Bull Fighters, to Cockatoos, and these Cockatoos were not only gravel, but many parts of the wings, and the birds crest were made out of shiny gold sequins.
Moderm 1960s Pebble Gravel Art Comedy Mask with Lute
Picturesque Kits Were Made Until Around 1973
In the early 1960s brochures came with each Picturesque kit, that was like a catalog of the different types of stone and gravel mosaics the company was making that year, and the brochures would shows beautiful color pictures of about two dozen or so of the kits that they were offering that year. Picturesque kits were made up until around 1973. At that time, another company purchased the company, and they were sold as Open Door Mosaic kits and the Open Door Mosaics Company went out of business in 1978.
"AMERICANA " Colonial Pictures by Picturesque
Gravel Mosaic Artwork, 1962 Picturesque PQL-2, Golden Pheasant Wall Panel
Susan White on February 13, 2020:
I absolutely remember these pieces of art. My brother had these kits and loved making them. Wow, such memories!!!
Heidi Greene on November 05, 2019:
I am in search of the PQL 3 BUDDHA my parents had one when I was growing up and I absolutely love it
Tracy Coffey on July 28, 2019:
Do you know how to clean the canvas background of a glass gravel art if it has begun to yellow?
Glenn Waters (author) on October 07, 2017:
Thank you Margo and Mackenzie, these are truly works of art, and sometimes you can still find MINT vintage gravel art kits still in their boxes waiting to be made on eBay. It would be wonderful if they would start to make these once again. They really brought folks together working these fun gravel art projects, I really had fun as a child working on them with my sister.
Glenn Waters on October 07, 2017:
Thank you Margo and Mackenzie, these are truly works of art, and sometimes you can still find MINT vintage gravel art kits still in their boxes waiting to be made on eBay. They really brought folks together working these fun gravel art projects, I really had fun as a child working on them with my sister.
Margo Bowser on October 06, 2017:
I remember making these with my sister and some of the other kids in my neighborhood. Wouldn’t mind working on one again so much fun!
Mackenzie Sage Wright on March 28, 2015:
Awesome! I totally remember these! Why did they go out of fashion, they're so cool?