Mid-Century Mod Meets Pop Culture in Jake Rudh’s Pins

All it took was $50 and a case of beer for Minneapolis DJ
Jake Rudh
to buy his first mid-century modern piece: a 1972 Weltron 8-Track
player that was originally in his uncle’s cabin.

“I’d always seen it because they’d have their jar of Twizzlers
right next to it on top of the T.V.,” said Rudh. “When I was a kid, I’d go
up for a Twizzler and I’d be seeing that beautiful thing next to the jar.”

Fifteen years later, the futuristic-looking space helmet
radio is perched on a shelf in Rudh’s office (or what he refers to as his “man
cave”). His entire collection — from the space age electronics and furniture in
his office, to the modern Danish furniture in the rest of his 1964 flat-roof
home — has grown around that first piece.

“I’ve always loved history going back before the 1900s, but
there was something about the squeaky clean, futuristic vibe the 1950s
atomic age brought on that really caught my eye,” Rudh said.

But his love for mid-century modern really goes back to music. The 39-year-old has over two decades of DJing experience under his belt. In 2012, City
Pages named him the “Best Club DJ” for the tenth straight year. (that on top of consistent mentions from the Star Tribune, MN Monthly and Vita.mn).  Basically, this guy’s got some serious
musical clout and a taste for good beats (his popular “Transmission” dance
night at Club Jäger grew into a 10-year anniversary party at First Avenue and a
weekly radio slot on The Current).

“It always has to start with music for me,” Rudh said. “Then
from there I spread out. What was life like? What was going on in the news?
What was the culture like during these times when these performers were
traveling the world?”

His love of all things mid-century modern might have started
with a 1970s radio from his uncle, but that’s certainly not where it ended. A few years
ago the 39-year-old started a popular Facebook group (Twin Cities Mid-Century Modern,
for like-minded individuals to talk about the one passion that unites them all. Since then, the
group has grown to more than 2,000 members.

This week Rudh pins a few of his favorite examples (some
even from this own collection) of mid-century modern design in popular culture. Check back each day this week to find out what made this award-winning DJ’s list.