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Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

MID-CENTURY MODERN STYLE

Organically shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe mid-century modern American furniture. The style, which emerged primarily in the years following World War II, is characterized by pieces that were conceived and made in an energetic, optimistic spirit by creators who believed that good design was an essential part of good living.

Postwar American architects and designers were animated by new ideas and new technology. The lean, functionalist “International Style” architecture of Le Corbusier and Bauhaus eminences such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius had been promoted in the United States during the ’30s by Philip Johnson and others. New building techniques, such as “post-and-beam” construction, allowed the International-style schemes to be realized on a small scale, in open-plan houses with long walls of glass.

Materials developed for wartime use became available for domestic goods and were incorporated into mid-century modern furniture designs. Charles and Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen, who had experimented extensively with molded plywood, eagerly embraced fiberglass for, respectively, pieces such as the La Chaise and the Womb chair. George Nelson and his design team created Bubble lamp shades using a new translucent polymer skin. Harry Bertoia and Isamu Noguchi devised chairs and tables built of wire mesh and wire struts. Materials were re-purposed: the Danish-born designer Jens Risom created a line of chairs that used surplus parachute straps for webbed seats and backrests.

As the demand for casual, uncluttered furnishings grew, more mid-century designers caught the spirit.

Classically-oriented creators such as Edward Wormley, house designer for Dunbar Inc., offered such pieces as the sinuous Listen to Me chaise; the British expatriate T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings switched gears, creating items such as the tiered, biomorphic Mesa table. There were Young Turks such as Paul McCobb — who designed holistic groups of sleek, blonde-wood furniture — and Milo Baughman, who espoused a West Coast aesthetic in lushly upholstered chairs and sofas with angular steel frames.

As the collection of vintage mid-century modern American furniture on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.

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Abstract Carved Stone Outsider Art by Louise Abrams, c1970
Located in Port Jervis, NY
Carved stone by abstract outsider artist Louise Abrams. This particular piece is from the artists personal collection of her own art. Sits on a black laminate plinth base. This ite...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Alabaster

Oil on Canvass by Elmer P. Schwab
By Elmer P. Schwab
Located in New York, NY
Vintage oil on canvass by noted artist Elmer P. Schwab. Schwab worked in the Mid 20th C. and exhibited at the Salamagundi Club, among other notable venues. He painted mainly street s...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Paint

Bronze Sculpture, Il Cavalino, by Barbara Beretich '1936-2018'
Located in Palm Desert, CA
This is a signed bronze sculpture of a horse entitled, Il Cavalino, by Barbara Beretich. This is a lost wax cast and the piece is from her home gallery as seen in picture #8. During ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Bronze

Moss Boy Sculpture by Kim Simonsson, circa 2020, Finland
By Kim Simonsson
Located in Nice, Cote d' Azur
Moss Boy sculpture by Kim Simonson. Synthetic moss sculpture over a porcelain base. From the series of “Moss People”, circa 2020, Finland. Unique piece. Excellent condition. Kim ...
Category

2010s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Porcelain

Rude Osolnik Signed Mid-Century Modern Walnut Wood Turned Vessel Bud Weed Vase
Located in Studio City, CA
A beautifully executed, handmade, wood-turned vase by master woodturner Rude Osolnik who is widely regarded, along with Bob Stocksdale, as one of the finest woodturners in American w...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Wood, Walnut

Vallauris 'Attributed to' Pair of Twisted Green Ceramic Candelabra circa 1950
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
Vallauris (attributed to) Pair of twisted green ceramic candelabra circa 1950.
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Ceramic

Group of Three Large Scale Carved Teak South Asian Musician Figures
Located in Bridgeport, CT
A set of three large heavy carved teak musician figures. All are seated in elegant dance- like poses and wear local style loincloths, neck torques and anklets. One plays a stringed i...
Category

20th Century Asian Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Teak

Four Modern Creative Kokeshi Dolls by Usaboro Okamoto, Japan
Located in Point Richmond, CA
Four modern creative Kokeshi dolls by Okamoto Usaburo, Japan Okamoto Usaburo (1917-2009) was a highly regarded artist of the Sosaku Kokeshi Movement, receiving numerous awards dur...
Category

Mid-20th Century Japanese Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Mexican Jewelry Box in the Style of Don Shoemaker
Located in Mexico City, CDMX
Circa 1970 We offer this rare Mexican jewelry box in the style of Don Shoemaker.
Category

1970s Mexican Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Wall Mask of Afro Child, Afro Woman , Mid-20th Century, Germany
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage Afro Child , Afro Woman Wall Mask which looks great. This wall head decoration is very detailed and was made in Germany. This German pottery mask dates circa 1950-1960. It's ...
Category

Mid-20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Stone

Putaway, Vintage Toy Chest in Lacquered Metal, circa 1960
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
Putaway, vintage toy chest in lacquered metal, circa 1960.
Category

Mid-20th Century Canadian Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Metal

Decorative Tapestry for Wall Robert and John F.Kennedy Late 1960s or Early 1970s
Located in Mombuey, Zamora
Decorative tapestry carpet Normally they were framed with a golden and wooden molding. These tapestries or carpets were very typical of the middle of the last century Almost al...
Category

Mid-20th Century Unknown Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Cotton

NYC 42nd Street Sex Show Street Scene Painting
Located in Atlanta, GA
NYC 42nd Street Peep Show Street Scene Painting, artist unknown, signed Layton, American, circa 1960s. Great depection of New York City's sleazy side, the Times Square area and all i...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Glass, Wood, Paper

Lisa Larson 'Mikey' Cat Fabric Cushions
Located in Little Burstead, Essex
Cushions with zip on covers, fronts in 'Mikey' fabric designed by Lisa Larson, in typical Lisa Larson style, very reminiscent of her comical animal figures for Gustavsberg.
Category

Early 2000s Swedish Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Cotton

One-Off "Yin Yang" Puzzle Lounge Chair, Modernist, Bench Made
Located in Buffalo, NY
Unusual "artist crafted" lounge chair, five or eight figured plywood. Yin-Yang design, attached back seat cushion.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Birch

Vintage English Rifle Bayonet, 1940s
Located in National City, CA
Vintage English rifle bayonet, circa 1940s. Measure: 15" L x 1.75." D.
Category

1940s English Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Steel

Vintage Mid-Century Rust Colored Barkcloth with Gold Speckles
Located in Van Nuys, CA
This beautiful fabric is a 100% cotton barkcloth. Barkcloth is a textured printed woven fabric. The manufacturer is unknown but this lovely orangish rust-colored vintage fabric has s...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Cotton

Mid-Century Modern Vintage Tortoise Bamboo and Wicker 6 Bottle Wine Rack
Located in Oklahoma City, OK
A handmade Mid-Century Modern wine rack created from bentwood bamboo and wicker. Two layers of bamboo are carefully woven together creating a space for 6 bottle so wine (or other bev...
Category

Mid-20th Century Southeast Asian Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Bamboo, Wicker, Rattan

Mid Century Folk Bird Sculpture by Oswaldo Guayasamín
Located in Toronto, ON
This charming warm golden brass metal sculpture with turquoise stone eyes is by celebrated painter and sculptor Ecuadorian Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919-1999). Signed Guayasamin on the ...
Category

1960s Ecuadorean Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Brass

Vintage Bronze Bust of Armand Petersen
Located in Søborg, DK
A vintage bronze bust of Armand Petersen. Judging by his appearance it could be just after his death in 1969. Or it could be a selv portrait just before his death. The latter is m...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Bronze

Mid-20th Century Three-Panel, Hand Painted Oil on Canvas Screen
Located in San Francisco, CA
Mid-20th century three panel, hand painted oil on canvas screen. Measures: 72" tall Three panels 16.5" W each. The screen can be displayed up to 46 x 48" wide. The back is hand pri...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Canvas, Wood, Paint

Mathieu Matégot Style Black Gloss Metal Mesh Marketplace Flower Cart France 1950
Located in Miami, FL
Superb Mid-Century Modern paris marketplace flower cart in the style of Mathieu Matégot. Handcrafted wrought iron wheels, hairpin legs, handles and a metal mesh display table in glo...
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Wrought Iron, Wire

Signed Modern Abstract Constructivist Styled Wooden Oak Sculpture
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This contemporary abstract wooden sculpture was done by Czeslaw Budny a Polish-Canadian artist in the constructivist style circa 2019. This sculpture was made entirely of up-cycled, ...
Category

2010s Canadian Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Skoby Joe Tall Sand Cream Ceramic Vase Wabi Sabi Mid-Century Modern Sculpture
Located in La Jolla, CA
Joseph Skoby is a Southern Californian whose work is inspired by the nature of his native state. His ceramics, created in his own lush garden, recall his intimate dance with the ocea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Ceramic, Clay, Stoneware

Midcentury Decorative Ceramic Dish by Phillip H. Paradise, California, 1950s
By Phillip Herschel Paradise
Located in La Teste De Buch, FR
Rare decorative earthenware dish by renowned Californian artist Phillip Herschel Paradise. Hand-painted decor, circa 1955. Signed. Phil Paradise was an accomplished artist, pai...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Ceramic

Bram Bogart, Painting, Signed, Belgium, 1981
Located in Nice, Cote d' Azur
Bram Bogart, Painting, Mixed Media, Signed, 1981, Belgium. Measures: Height 49.5 cm, width 40.5 cm, depth 4 cm.
Category

1980s Belgian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Paint

Mid-Century Modern Metal Magazine Chartreuse Rack, Powder-Coated
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
Magazine rack looking bold and fun in freshly powder coated chartreuse. Just look at this fun piece in all it's glory! Functional and bright, this magazine rack will be a wonderful a...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Metal

Mid-Century Modern C. Jere Style Sailboat Wall Art
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Stunning Mid-Century Modern metal sailboat wall art features intricate detailing from the mast to the keel. The unique design displays a miniature steering wheel, railing, rudder, an...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Metal

Dutch Hand Made Mid-Century Brutalist Vase in the Style of Jaap Ravelli
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
An unusual and striking mid-century Dutch Brutalist orange glazed art pottery vase possibly by Jaap Ravelli (1916-2011) and dating from around 1960. The vase is heavily made in terra...
Category

Mid-20th Century Dutch Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Terracotta

David Leach Feather Design Grey Glazed Studio Pottery Bowl
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
A large and stylish studio pottery bowl decorated with an abstract feather patterned design in a grey powdered glaze by David Leach (1911-2005) and probably dating from his early day...
Category

1960s English Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Pottery

Raul Coronel Signed Mid-Century Modern Large Heavy Ceramic Pottery Bowl, 1960s
Located in Studio City, CA
A wonderfully made and colored heavy bowl by Mexican born ceramic master Raul Coronel who played an important role in the American (he became a naturalized citizen) / California desi...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Earthenware

Bob Stocksdale Signed Monumental Mid-Century Modern Turned Exotic Wood Charger
Located in Studio City, CA
An exquisitely crafted, rare wood charger/platter by American California master Woodturner Bob Stocksdale. Signed and marked ("Harewood from England") by the artist on the verso....
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Harewood

French Rope Magazine Rack Audoux Minet, circa 1960
Located in The Hills, TX
French rope magazine rack Audoux Minet, circa 1960. Measures: Height 15.3 inches, length 14.7" on 12.5 inches.
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Rope

Original Bavarian Tyrolian Folk Art Painting, Signed and Dated
Located in Vero Beach, FL
Original Bavarian Tyrolian Folk Art painting, signed and dated This charming folk painting is executed in oil on artist board. A beautiful and rustic Tyrol or Bavarian landscape i...
Category

1940s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Other

1961 Tin Advertising Sign MARTINI BLANC , Apéritif Beverage
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage " MARTINI BLANC " or WHITE MARTINI Metal Advertising Sign. This Tin Sign has a gold colored metal frame, is mounted on Cardboard and dates from 1961. This Sign for the fa...
Category

Mid-20th Century Belgian Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Tin

Danish Modern Hand-Knotted Tan Wool Rug by Rya
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Danish modern hand-knotted tan wool rug by Rya.
Category

1960s Danish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Wool

Keith Haring, Original Poster, Italy, circa 1991
Located in Nice, Cote d' Azur
Keith Haring, Original poster of an exhibition in 1991 Paper, Italy, circa 1991 Modern baguette frame. Measures: Width 70, height 85 cm.
Category

1990s Italian Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Paper

Early Carta Blanca Beer Sign. Mexico, 1940’s.
Located in San Diego, CA
Rare Carta Blanca beer porcelain metal sign. Mexico, ca. 1940’s.
Category

1940s Mexican Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Sheet Metal

Pair of Knud Albert Hand Carved Animal Sculptures Denmark
Located in Round Rock, TX
A rare pair of hand carved, organic, abstract animal sculptures by Knud Albert. Each figure is carved from a single piece of wood. All are unique and one of a kind.
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Rosewood, Teak

Ceramic Vase from the 1950s by the French Ceramist Edouard Cazaux F296
Located in Lyon, FR
Ceramic vase from the 1950s by the French ceramist Edouard Cazaux. Very nice drawings of the artist of women and goats all around the vase that create an impression of movement, enam...
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Ceramic

Hand Carved Wooden Mother and Child Statue
Located in Redding, CT
Hand carved wooden mother and child statue. Or Madonna and child. Mid Century modernist in style. Nice rich wood patina with intricate craftsmen detail. We think the wood is walnut. ...
Category

1960s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Walnut

Ceramic Sunburst Mirror Designed by Oswald Tieberghien
Located in Antwerp, BE
Tieberghien Oswald (born 1936) is a sophisticated Belgian artist, who has his own ceramics studio in Eeklo started in 1955. Glazed ceramic in strong red, white, grey colors.
Category

1960s Belgian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Ceramic

Mid-Century 1950s Pepe Mendoza Decorative Pull Handle
Located in San Antonio, TX
Gorgeous vintage Pepe Mendoza decorative brass pull handle with turquoise ceramic inlay.
Category

Mid-20th Century Mexican Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Brass

Ceramic Stoneware Plague by Ake Holm of a Brutalist Geometric Nude Couple
Located in London, GB
A ceramic stoneware plague by leading Swedish ceramicist Ake Holm of a Brutalist geometric nude couple entwined. Finished in a stoneware glaze and signed in the bottom left hand corn...
Category

1950s Swedish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Stoneware

SkobyJoe Large White Textured Vessel /Ceramic Vase Wabi Sabi/ Mid-Century Modern
Located in La Jolla, CA
Joseph Skoby is a Southern Californian whose work is inspired by the nature of his native state. His ceramics, created in his own lush garden, recall his intimate dance with the ocea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Clay, Stoneware, Ceramic

Vintage Christmas Nutcracker Wood, Erzgebirge, Germany, 1970s
Located in 05-080 Hornowek, PL
Big wooden nutcracker figure from the Erzgebirge. The region Erzgebirge formerly Eastern Germany is famous for this special kind of nutcrackers, where intricate carving has been thei...
Category

Mid-20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Unusual Corner Armchair Audoux Minet, circa 1960
Located in The Hills, TX
Unusual corner armchair with woven rope Audoux Minet, circa 1960.
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Rope, Wood

"16 Animali" Toys Puzzle by Enzo Mari for Danese Milano, Italy, 1972
Located in Rome, IT
16 Animali is a wooden puzzle, cleverly designed to produce 16 different animal shapes, with just one continuous cut, from a single piece of expandable resin. It is one of the most f...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Resin

African Painting Woman and Child Kongo
Located in Antwerp, BE
African painting of a woman and her child. It depicts a woman in a colorful dress carrying her child in a sash. The artist signed the piece on the bottom of the painting. Height:84 c...
Category

Mid-20th Century Congolese Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Wood, Canvas

Mid-Century Modern Bessarabian Kilim Rug
Located in Milan, IT
Woven in brown and grey tones, this unusual kilim is decorated by a geometric pattern influenced by the European avant-garde, rather than with the more typical floral design. It is s...
Category

1940s Ukrainian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Wool

French Rope Shelf Audoux Minet, Circa 1960
Located in The Hills, TX
French rope shelf Audoux Minet, Circa 1960.
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Rope, Rhodoid

SkobyJoe Textured Brown Ceramic Vase Wabi Sabi Mid-Century Modern Sculpture
Located in La Jolla, CA
Joseph Skoby is a Southern Californian whose work is inspired by the nature of his native state. His ceramics, created in his own lush garden, recall his intimate dance with the ocea...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Ceramic, Clay, Stoneware

Painting on Canvas, "La Cuisine Aux Fleurs" by Gerard Economos
By Gerard Economos 1
Located in New York, NY
Painting. Acrylic on canvas by Gerard Economos (French,1935-) Gerard Economos is known for his passionate, intensely colored abstract compositions and large acrylic paintings that h...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

Rope Sconce Sphere Audoux Minet, circa 1960
Located in The Hills, TX
Unusual rope sconce sphere with white opaline shade Audoux Minet, circa 1960.
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Rope, Opaline Glass

Large Mid-Century Modern Mirror with Inlay and Sculpted Design
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
Mid-Century Modern mirror with inlay accents. This mirror is outstanding. The end pieces have inlay and cut-out design. The mirror can be hung on the diagonal or horizontal. A perfec...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Mirror, Walnut

Rope Lamp Lantern Audoux Minet, circa 1960
Located in The Hills, TX
Midcentury rope lamp lantern by Audoux Minet, circa 1960. Measures: Height / 8.8 inches, diameter / 5.5 inches.
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Rope, Plastic

Mid Century Rope Lamp Audoux Minet, circa 1960
Located in The Hills, TX
Mid century rope lamp by Audoux Minet. Measures: Height / 15.3 inches. Included shade diameter 6.5 inches.
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Rope

Renzo Faggioli Multicolored Ceramic Vessel
Located in Phoenix, AZ
A multi-colored vessel by master ceramics craftsman Renzo Faggioli with signature on the bottom. Mr. Faggioli teaches ceramics at The Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA and the Baum ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Folk Art

Materials

Ceramic