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“John and Mary” Interior (1969)

Artist/Designer: John Mortimer, Mervyn Jones, Ben Kadish, Gayne Rescher

Project Location: New York, New York

Figure 1: Mary (Mia Farrow) learns about John (Dustin Hoffman) from the objects displayed on the shelf in his apartment. © 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. ( Source | Accessed : April 16, 2022 | Photographer: © 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation. )

Contemporary, Modern, Minimalism

Primary Material(s):
Glass, Fabric, Textile, Wood, Paper, Light, Color

Residential Structure, Entertainment, Film/TV Set

Related Website(s):

Significant Date(s):
1960, 1969, 1970

Additional Information:
Publications/Texts in Print:
Kirkham, Pat, Sarah A. Lichtman, and Timothy M Rohan. “From Sex to Narcissism: Understanding Ninimalist Interiors in New York Films of the 1970s.” Essay. In Screen Interiors: From Country Houses to Cosmic Heterotopias, 125–41. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2021.

Kim Phillips-Fein, Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2017), 1-10.

Phillips-Fein, Fear City, 303-16.

Stanley Corkin, Starring New York: Filming the Grime and the Glamour of the Long 1970s (Oxford and New York: Oxford Univeristy Press, 2011), 6-7.

David Harvey, A Brief Hisotry of Neo-Liberalism (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 44-8.

For an introduction to Minimalist art, its concepts, and methods, see James Meyer, Minimalism: Art and Polemics in the Sixties (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004), 3-5.

Aaron Shkuda, The Lofts of Soho: Gentrification, Art and Industry in New York, 1950-1980 (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2016), 1-11.

Mark Botha, A Theory of Minimalism (London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2017), 1-25.

For example of the art world’s recognition of Bennett, see the article that Art in America commissioned short-story writer Jean Stafford to write about Bennett and his apartment: Jean Stafford, “Profile: Ward Bennett,” Art in America 54, no.6 (November-December 1966):44-7.

Barbaralee Diamonstein, Interior Design: The New Freedom (New York: Rizzoli, 1982), 19.

Building Address: 52 Riverside Drive (between West 77th and 78th Street) Manhattan.

Significant Dates: Released on December 14, 1969.

Supporting Staff/ Designers: Peter Yates (Director), John Mortimer (Writer), Mervyn Jones (Writer), Ben Kadish (Producer), Gayne Rescher (Cinematography).

Tags: Minimalist interior, all-white apartment interior, Ward Bennett's, Modernism,

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