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Oct. 16, 2014 Volume 36, No. 8

Employees’ home interior a throwback to bygone age

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Pat Guinan, left, and his partner, Steve Getz, decorate their home with midcentury furniture and art. Photo by Kyle Spradley.

Though ill, University Hospital worker drove hundreds of miles to buy art deco piece

Pat Guinan fills his free time and home with a hobby.

Stepping into the front door of Guinan’s home is like stepping out of a time machine. “It’s like a time warp in here,” said Pat’s partner, Steve Getz, gazing around the eclectic collection of sculptures, paintings and furniture.

Guinan and Getz are antiquers, often traveling far and wide across the Midwest to add to their collection. Each room is furnished in midcentury modern pieces, contributing to the feeling of a set on an early James Bond movie.

Guinan is Missouri’s state extension climatologist and associate extension professor of climatology for the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. Getz is a registered nurse at University Hospital.

Guinan was introduced to the antiquing game by Getz when they met in 2000. Getz got his toes wet earlier when a friend brought him to the now-closed Ice Chalet Antique Mall in Columbia. As Guinan and Getz began frequenting the mall together, they discovered that they both enjoyed art deco.


“Over time, the sort of stuff we liked evolved,” Guinan said.

Everything in their ranch-style home is from the 1950s through the 1970s. From the two walnut-frame couches in the living room to the kitchen table designed by Eero Saarinen, who also designed the St. Louis Gateway Arch, the pieces have years of embedded memories.

“This table right here in front of us has history,” said Guinan, pointing to the maze-like metal sculpture table in his living room designed by Italian artist Marcello Fantoni.

One day while sick with the flu, Getz started browsing the Internet for anything for sale within driving distance to add to their collection. On Craigslist, he saw the Fantoni table listed for a reasonable price. But it was in Wichita, Kansas.

Despite being sick, Getz “hopped in his car and drove right over to Kansas to pick it up,” laughed Guinan.

Besides Craigslist, Guinan and Getz buy items from eBay, antique stores, auctions and estate sales to add to their collection. Getz said they have even sold a few of their acquired pieces at an auction in Chicago to “change it up. It’s fun to switch out old pieces for new ones,” he said.

As you may expect, Guinan and Getz often see some of their art on television shows, such as Mad Men, set in the 1960s, and I Dream of Genie, which ran from 1965 to 1970.

 "Oh look! It’s our Saarinen table. Look, it’s our cyclone table!" said Pat, mimicking their reaction.

Guinan and Getz said that things can get competitive during searches. Furniture hunters, for example, sometimes camp out up to three nights in front of an estate sale to get furniture pieces. 

“There’s a lot of competition going on there,” Guinan said.

— Madison Knapp

This story first appeared on the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources website.