Back to the 30’s

Mark Davids is not like every other 47-year-old living in Amsterdam. He lives in the 30’s.

Text and photos by Ingrid Godager

Davids always dresses like a gentleman and never goes out without wearing a hat. His house looks like a museum, furnished like houses were in the beginning of the 1900s. It’s packed with paintings, newspapers, books and furniture from the 20s and 30s, as Davids never leaves a flea market empty handed. He describes his lifestyle as vintage: “Since I was 24 years of age I have been living the lifestyle from the 1920-1930s. Let’s call it a vintage lifestyle.”

Mark Davids (40) reading a vintage magazine.

It all started as old film images of everyday life from the 20s and 30s sparked his interest in this time period. “I really liked the style from this time. The Art Deco, the Art Nouveau, the clothes, the cars, the films, just everything”, says Davids. Yet the style from the 20s and 30s is not the only thing that fascinated Davids; he also preferred their way of living. “People were living in a simpler way. They were happy with going out of their city, they didn’t need world tours. Smaller things were satisfying enough”, Davids continues. 

Davids explains that even though the beginning of the 1900s was a dark time period, it was also a revolutionary time period. “After the First World War, everything started to change. Everybody started to dress differently. Everything started to be freer. It’s the upcoming time of the really good movies and the jazz-music, and it was shifting towards a very liberal time”, he says.

The Mac screen is the only modern piece in his entire living room.

When David decided to change his lifestyle, he didn’t know anyone else who was living this way. Today, twenty years later, he’s part of a big community consisting of over 700 people in the Club Interbellum, a club he founded himself. The members meet up several times a year to relive the early 1900s; to dance, have bike rides or to visit museums. Davids also adapted his work to his lifestyle, as he’s working at the Rijksmuseum, spending each day among history.