The Doctor Will See You Now
The masterful Masters of Sex reflects the changing of times and a modern man’s world
Set in the 1950s and 1960s, Showtime’s Masters of Sex tells the story of the ground-breaking research team, Masters and Johnson, the couple “who taught Americans how to love” and whose work heralded the dawn of the sexual revolution.
Production Designer, Michael Wylie, along with Set Decorator Halina Siwolop brought stunning mid-century style to the series with impeccable stylistic flair that drew the viewer into the heart of the story.
The beautiful Mid-century Modern New York house used in the pilot by Emmy nominated Production Designer, Andrew Jackness, was recreated in Los Angeles for the series. The vision of the set design was to show that William Masters (Michael Sheen), a modern man of science, controls his entire world. There is no sense of anyone else living here, let alone a woman or a child, to show us that a forward-looking scientist would surround himself with the latest designs in his home, and reflects the hopeful and 1950s era-changing theme of the show. This is also reflected by his clean, masculine office, which overlooks Saarinen’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
For Virginia Johnson’s (Lizzy Caplan) apartment, lots of 1930s-inspired furniture and wallpaper were used giving a warm feel to reflect the old-fashioned, though chaotic, steadfastness of the character.
Apart from prop houses in Los Angeles, the Emmy nominated team also sourced items from eBay and Etsy. Elizabeth Hershberger Gray (Production Designer for the third season) and Halina Siwolop added a pair of yellow wing-back chairs to the living room (from Blend Interiors in L.A.) and to the kitchen, a coffee set (from Harmony House Fine China). Reflecting Johnson’s improved financial status and her evolving sense of control over her life, they also added a Chinese Deco rug and brightened the kitchen with Benjamin Moore’s Historical Colours paints.
Masters of Sex continues to find audiences all over the world, and as the audience grows so does the interest in the show’s interiors and overall style. This is testament to the amazing art department.
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