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Mid-Century Modern Decorative 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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Original George Nelson for Howard Miller Black 'Asterisk' Wall Clock, circa 1960
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This Asterisk Clock by George Nelson Associates for Howard Miller is a rare find and one of the more in-demand of his designs. The black steel face, mounted on a metal back, is free ...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Steel, Brass

Philip and Kelvin LaVerne Rare "Chan" Wall Plaque
Located in New York, NY
Philip and Kelvin LaVerne rare "Chan" wall plaque in patinated and acid-etched pewter and bronze with hand painted polychrome enamels depicting a chinoiserie scene. Covered with prot...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Bronze, Enamel, Pewter

Modern Signed Marine Painting
By L. Marinelli
Located in Roma, IT
Underwater scene with coloured fish, rocks and corals signed Marinelli.
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Canvas

Majolica Fish Sealife Platter Vallauris, circa 1950
Located in The Hills, TX
Majolica sealife platter Vallauris, circa 1950. High relief of fish, seaweeds, shells, oyster, crab Nautical style. Measure: 11.3" diameter.    
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic, Faience, Majolica

1970s Yellow and Orange Op Wall Art by Turner
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A very groovy 1970s framed op art piece with a two colored wave of reserve painted glass that resembles a yin and yang. The piece is currently strung for hanging so the yellow is on ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Brass

After Pablo Picasso, Lithograph with Pochoir, Bacchanal 1955
Located in Rochester, NY
After Pablo Picasso, lithograph with pochoir, Bacchanal, edition of 2000 - dated 1955. Facsimile signature in green lower right. Image sheet size is 20 1/2 inches wide x 15 1/2 inche...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Chrome

Antique Printing Drawer with Metal Numbering, circa 1950
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Antique Printing Drawer with Metal Numbering, Spain circa 1950. In original condition, wear consistent with age and use, preserving a beautiful patina. Materials: Wood Metal ...
Category

1950s Spanish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Metal

Landscape Crane Birds Brass Wall Decoration Vintage, 1960s
Located in Nürnberg, DE
A beautiful vintage brass crane themed wall decoration. This decorative item would make a beautiful ornament on each wall. Made in the 1960s it displays the joy of that great era wit...
Category

1960s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Brass

Glass and Stone Mosaic Abstract Wall Art Sculpture, by Han van Hattem 1964
Located in Den Haag, NL
Glass and Stone Mosaic abstract wall art sculpture, The Netherlands 1964, The Hague, By Han van Hattem Dated and Signed 1964.
Category

1960s Dutch Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Stone

Painting by Eduardo Rouario, Mid-Century Modern, Modern Art, 1968, Orange/Green
Located in New York, NY
Beautiful, midcentury oil painting, by Eduardo Rouario, circa 1968. Oil painting framed in an antique frame from turn of the century. Orange, grey, hunter green and nude colors.
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Acrylic

Royal Copenhagen Diana Faience Tray, Nils Thorsson, Denmark, 1970s
Located in Bochum, NRW
Royal Copenhagen Diana Faience tray designed by the famous Danish designer Nils Thorsson. Marked to the backside. Excellent condition, retains vintage hangings, marked. Not anymore ...
Category

1970s Danish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Round Gio Ponti Franco Pozzi Gallarate Decorative Plate Blue Orange, 1960
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Round Gio Ponti Franco Pozzi Gallarate decorative plate blue orange, 1960.
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Round Gio Ponti Franco Pozzi Gallarate Decorative Plate Blue Orange, 1960
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Round Gio Ponti Franco Pozzi Gallarate decorative plate blue orange, 1960.
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Signed Original Midcentury Abstract Geometric Painting of Brooklyn Bridge
Located in West Hartford, CT
Original midcentury painting of the Brooklyn Bridge utilizing geometric shapes and bright colors of orange, brown and yellow. Signed lower right, B. Farian.
Category

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

Materials

Metal

Mid-Century Modern Aubusson Tapestry by Maurice Ferreol
By Maurice Ferreol
Located in New York, NY
Charming Mid-Century tapestry designed by Maurice Ferreol (1906-1969) and woven at Atelier Legouiex in Aubusson, France. Woven in wool, it dates to 1953 and titled "Tropiques". The a...
Category

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

Materials

Tapestry, Wool

Piero Fornasetti Adamo / Adam Porcelain Plate Number 12, Signed, Excellent
Located in Kansas City, MO
Piero Fornasetti Adamo / Adam porcelain plate # 12. Signed. Excellent condition.
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Porcelain

Woman on Majolica Tile Giovanni de Simone 1960s Italian Design
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Woman on Majolica tile Giovanni de Simone 1960s Italian design.
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Designed Bronze Gong from the 1970s
Located in Budapest, HU
Bronze gong with matching Hammer, designed by Levente Rékassy hungarian sculptor.
Category

Mid-20th Century Hungarian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Bronze

1950s Italian Wall Mirror with Maple Wood and Brass Frame
Located in Rome, IT
Italian wall mirror Made of beechwood, mirrored glass and brass, the wooden parts has been refinished with shellac. Measures: height 81cm, depth 8cm, width 61cm.
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Mirror, Maple

Italian Radiator Cover Midcentury in Perforated Iron Parts in Pure Gold, 1950s
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Italian radiator cover midcentury in perforated iron parts in pure gold 1950s. Upper surface in mirror, truly original pieces of great elegance.
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Crystal, Metal, Gold Plate

Italian Radiator Cover Midcentury in Perforated Iron Parts in Pure Gold, 1950s
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Italian radiator cover midcentury in perforated iron parts in pure gold 1950s. Upper surface in mirror, truly original pieces of great elegance.  
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Crystal, Metal, Gold Plate

Mexican Majolica Pottery Plate Set Handmade Mid-Century Modern Blue Small Plates
Located in Queretaro, Queretaro
Majolica small plate home decor by Mexican artist Lorenzo Lorenzzo.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Mexican Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic, Clay

Midcentury Curtis Jere Metal Ribbon Wall Art
Located in Brooklyn, NY
This stunning vintage piece of art was designed and signed by C. Jere. Sculptural Metal Art that is shaped like a ribbon. This two-tone, gold and silver colored piece is sure to make...
Category

1980s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Metal

Pair of Wall Decoration Ceramic Panels Brown Color by Pierre Digan Midcentury
Located in Neuilly-en- sancerre, FR
Pierre Digan Exceptional pair of ceramic wall panels by the French artist Pierre Digan. Realised circa 1975 in La Borne. Elegant brown stoneware ceramic colors in original g...
Category

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

Materials

Ceramic

Craig Ellwood Geometric Screen Print, 1979
By Craig Ellwood
Located in Los Angeles, CA
1922-1992, Craig Ellwood was an influential Los Angeles based architect. His building designs were the quintessential post and beam structures that were part of the California modern...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paper

Exceptional Framed Panel by Fornasetti at cost price.
Located in Saint-Ouen (PARIS), FR
This serigrapher panel by Fornasetti is carved and mounted on an altuglass steel frame. It as a 1960s vintage signed piece.
Category

1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Steel

1950s Design Mid-Century Modern Solid Teakwood Coat Rack with Hat Rack
Located in Lisse, NL
Great quality and condition midcentury wall coat rack. This beautifully designed, perfectly executed and highly practical midcentury coat rack could be the ideal piece to come home...
Category

Mid-20th Century European Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Teak

Large Mid Century Neon Sign Red / Blue "Downstairs" in a Acrylic Showcase 1980s
Located in Berlin, DE
This impressive Mid Century Neon sign shows the word "Downstairs" and is placed in a acrylic showcase. It is made in the 1980s in Germany. The Sign is completely intact and in perfe...
Category

1980s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Glass, Acrylic

Danish Midcentury Palshus Low Bowl with Blue Green Glaze Chamotte Ceramic, 1960s
Located in Aarhus C, DK
Low ceramic bowl by Per Linnemann-Schmidt for Palshus, Denmark. Made in the 1960s. It is made with chamotte clay which gives a rough and vivid surface. The glaze is a deep blue and ...
Category

1960s Danish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Belgium Handcrafted Ceramic Wall Art, 1970s
Located in Antwerp, BE
Vintage ceramic wall art. Brown earthenware with hand painted accents. Design of 8 figures in ceramic and glazed in the tones blue, gold, white and grey.
Category

1970s Belgian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Large Scale Wall Sculpture of Enameled Flowers in a Brutalist Vase
Located in Chicago, IL
Large-scale, Brutalist wall sculpture of a vase of flowers. The torch cut vase has numerous small holes and notches around the top into which you can insert and arrange the enameled ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Copper

Pair Minimal Wall Decorative Mirror Black Italy 1980s Rimadesio Lucio Del Pezzo
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Pair minimal wall decorative mirror black Italy 1980s Rimadesio Lucio Del Pezzo.
Category

1980s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Metal

Vintage Scandinavian Verner Panton “checkers Ii” Textile. 3 ft 10 in x 3 ft 10in
Located in New York, NY
Vintage Scandinavian Verner Panton “checkers Ii” Textile, Country of Origin: Scandinavia, Circa date: Mid-20th Century. Size: 3 ft 10 in x 3 ft 10 in (1.17 m x 1.17 m)
Category

20th Century Scandinavian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Linen

Sailing Clipper Oil on Canvas Painting Signed Ronald Davies
Located in Montreal, QC
Oil on canvas painting depicting a four mast sailing clipper; signed lower right: R DAVIES. Marked on reverse: Copy Right Reserved # 01211 RONALD DAVIES 4908 Sherbrooke St West Montr...
Category

1950s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Canvas

Mid Century Italian Shaped Mirror in solid Brass and ground mirror
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Mid Century Italian Shaped Mirror in solid Brass and ground mirror lower width 41 cm.       
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Brass

1972 Greg Copeland Hard Edge Abstract Screen Print
Located in Garnerville, NY
Greg Copeland 1972 hard edge abstract screen print on vinyl. Signed on reverse on vinyl and ink stamped on the wood stretcher. Greg Copeland Studios were based in Paterson, NJ and pr...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Other

Mid-Century Modern Mosaic Tile of Bull Wall Plaque
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Mid-Century Modern Mosaic tile of bull wall plaque.
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wood

1964 Set of Five Relief Decorative Panels, Handmade Carved Wood, Spain
Located in Girona, ES
Set of five relief decorative panels, handmade carved and painted on solid wood, dance and music scenes. Extremely fine work with Art Deco inspiration. Signed and dated: A Trapote M...
Category

1960s Spanish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wood, Paint

Early 1950s Lighted Neon "Pharmacy" Sign
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Amazing early 1950s lighted neon "Pharmacy" sign, double-sided.
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Steel

French Landscape of the Sunset Hand Embroidered
Located in London, GB
Impression of a sunset reflecting in the water, embroidered in warm colors in wool and framed with a card backing. Designed and signed by Granados design, by P. Rey, 1950s. Atelier C...
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wood, Wool, Textile

Modernist German Wall Rug by Ewald Kröner for Schloss Hackhausen, Germany, 1970s
Located in Kirchlengern, DE
Article: Wall rug Decade: 1970s Origin: Germany Producer: Schloss Hackhausen, Germany Design: Ewald Kröner This rug is a great example of 1970...
Category

Late 20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Cotton

Cristiano Toraldo di Francia Unique Bench in Walnut with Gold Leaf Wall Panel
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Cristiano Toraldo di Francia and Andrea Noferi, bench with drawers and wall panel, walnut, gold leaf, fabric upholstery, Italy, 1986 Admirable set consisting of a bench with match...
Category

1980s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Gold Leaf

Jeannette Nestel Mid-Century Modern Lucite and Brass Wall Sculpture
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This Lucite and brass wall sculpture is not dated, but presumed to have been made in approximately the 1970s by Canadian artist, Jeannette Nestel. The sculpture features several styl...
Category

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

Materials

Brass

Lucien Coutaud Aubusson Tapestry
By Lucien Coutaud
Located in New York, NY
Midcentury tapestry designed by Lucien Coutaud (1904-1977) and handwoven at the Pinton Freres atelier in Aubusson, France. Entitled "Musique Chambre" it depicts a musical ensemble of...
Category

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

Materials

Tapestry, Wool

Mid-Century Modern French Bamboo Mirror, circa 1960
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Mid-Century Modern bamboo mirror, circa 1960 Traditionally manufactured in French. By unknown designer. In original condition with minor wear consistent of age and use, preservi...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Bamboo, Rattan

Rare 1960s Glass Mosaic Wall Decoration
Located in Budapest, HU
Large scale glass mosaic with a 1960s-1970s decor, in excellent condition. Unknown artist. Framed in steel frame.
Category

1960s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Glass

Mid-Century Modern Aubusson Tapestry by Maurice Andre
By Maurice André
Located in New York, NY
Mid-century tapestry designed by Maurice Andre (1914-1985) and woven at Atelier Pinton Freres in Aubusson, France. Hand-woven in wool, it dates to the 1960s and titled "Poisson Noirs...
Category

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

Materials

Tapestry, Wool

Fossil Sturgeon Fish Copper Wall Decoration Wall Panel Picture Vintage, 1970s
Located in Nürnberg, DE
A beautiful, vintage copper Sturgeon Fish themed wall decor picture. It would make a beautiful ornament at your wall. Vibrant colors and excellent craftsmanship. Also a great wall ha...
Category

1970s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Copper

Mari Simmulson Upsala-Ekeby Abstract Painted Girl and Bird Pottery Tile
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
A striking Swedish mid-century wall plaque decorated with an abstract stylized bird and a girl by Mari Simmulson (1911-2000) for Upsala-Ekeby. The stoneware plaque is of rectangular ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Stoneware

Large Witco, Carved Wood Shield Gladiator and Viking Wall Plaques
Located in Buffalo, NY
Large Witco, carved wood shield Gladiator and Viking wall plaques.
Category

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

Materials

Wood

Set of Five Engraved English Silver Decorative Plates by Bernard Buffet
Located in London, GB
Set of sterling silver plates engraved and signed by Bernard Buffet dated from 1973-1978. Gazelle, Panda, Giraffe, Lion and Rhinoceros. Each one in fitted wooden display case, wit...
Category

1970s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Silver

Minimalist Vittorio Dassi Milano Mid-Century Italian Console Wood Mirror Brass
Located in Palermo, Sicily
Minimalist Vittorio Dassi Milano mid-century Italian console wood mirror brass.
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Brass

French Green Majolica Oyster Marcel Guillot, circa 1950
Located in The Hills, TX
French green Majolica oyster signed Marcel Guillot, circa 1950.
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic, Faience, Majolica

Norman Laliberte's “Hommage to Picasso” Original Signed Oil on Canvas Painting
By Norman Laliberté
Located in Redding, CT
Norman LaLiberte's “Hommage to Picasso” original signed oil on canvas painting. His cubist style in this piece is a bow to world renown Pablo Picasso. A whimsical and colorful depict...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Canvas

Phillip, Kelvin Laverne Mother and Daughter Wall Sculpture, Bronze, Pewter, 1967
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Phillip, Kelvin Laverne Mother and Daughter wall sculpture, Bronze, Pewter, 1967. "Mother and Daughter at the Window", a pewter relief and patinated bronze beveled edge wall pane...
Category

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

Materials

Bronze, Pewter

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 Decorative Art

Materials

Tin

Pair of Mid-Century Judith Daner Style Enamel on Copper Tiles Horses & Warriors
Located in St. Louis, MO
Pair of mid-century enamel on copper tiles, depicting Picasso or African style tribal warriors with horses and shields. The three tiles per plaque, float on a white background framed...
Category

1950s Swedish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Copper, Enamel

Group of Nine Ribbed Sand Blasted and Fused Art Glass Op-Art Framed Panels
Located in Stamford, CT
A group of nine ribbed sand blasted and fused op-art Czechoslovakian glass panels in blue and clear. Done in what can be described as in the fresnel method. These panels date to the ...
Category

1960s Czech Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Art Glass