The Nauga is Ugly

but his vinyl hide is beautiful.

In the 1960s, it became a popular advertising ploy to create fictional, charming characters to get consumers comfortable with new synthetic fabrics and furnishings. The Nauga, introduced in 1967, was a gentle but tough beast, with a hide that could withstand everyday wear-and-tear and was more economical than leather. Naugahyde, though patented in 1936, became more widely used for home furnishings due to the rise in mass production and consumerism in mid-century America. The Nauga appeared in print advertisements and even on the Johnny Carson Show and miniature dolls were made so that interested buyers could sample the wondrous qualities of Naugahyde.

Invite a Nauga to your next party. Punch him in the nose the minute he comes through the door. Spill a Bloody Mary on him. Get him with a pie in the face. Smear chocolate on his chest. Kick him around. His vinyl hide is Naugahyde vinyl fabric. It’s indestructible.

1967 advertisement for Naugahyde

A Life Lived with Herman Miller

The Collection of Betty Gorecki

Betty Gorecki's husband Richard worked for Herman Miller from the mid-1950s to the late 1960s—a defining era in the company's history, when the designs of Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Alexander Girard changed the look of modern American design. 

Richard Gorecki was a traveling salesman that worked for the interiors department, consulting offices on furnishing their spaces with the adaptable and optimistic furniture and textiles that would become iconic of the era. Betty, a hairstylist who owned a salon, fell in love with the modern designs of Herman Miller and outfitted their home with the colorful and inviting aesthetic (even making custom curtains and pillows out of Girard fabrics). 

Art is only art if it is synonymous with living.

Alexander Girard

Along with classic Herman Miller designs, Betty also decorated her home with items purchased from Girard's Textile & Objects shop, including the delightful handmade dolls of Marilyn Neuhart and folk art from South America. This collection also features Herman Miller Summer Picnic posters by Stephen Frykholm, timeless Nelson and Eames furniture, and Girard works ranging from an important collection of over six hundred fabric samples to his good-humored Environmental Enrichment panels.

Though Betty and Richard divorced in the early 1970s, Betty continued to live with these designs, seamlessly integrating their ease, optimism and resilience into her home and life for over forty years—just as Eames, Nelson and Girard had hoped they would be.

What makes a design unique, original, inventive, imaginative, and compelling? What are those attributes that really make your design really stand out amongst the crowd? I think the dimensionality comes from the person designing it, if that makes any sense. The design has to have presence.

Stephen Frykholm