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Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

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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Large Wall-Plaque / Charger by Marcello Fantoni
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Depicting the chance encounter of two quasi-cubist knights on horseback, this large wall-plaque by the famous Florentine ceramist can also serve as a charger or centerpiece.
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Earthenware

Blue Abstract Gouache on Board, Signed and Dated 1955
Located in St Annes, Lancashire
Wonderful abstract painting. Probably French In the style of Miro Indistinctly signed. Dated 1955 Unframed.
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wood

"Evening Glow" Landscape Oil Painting
Located in Rochester, NY
A large dramatic impressionist oil painting of sunlit birch trees with a vivid blue sky. Painted by Rudolf Hermanns. Oil on canvas, circa 1920. Unframed. Hermanns was born in 1860 t...
Category

Early 20th Century European Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paint, Fabric, Canvas

Abstract Bauhaus Style Building Oil Painting
Located in Rochester, NY
American abstract Bauhaus style high rise building. Oil on canvas, signed "E.M." dated 1958.
Category

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

Materials

Fabric, Canvas, Paint

Original Oval Rattan 'Basket Clock' by George Nelson for Howard Miller, 1950s
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Out of the 150+ designs created by George Nelson for Howard Miller, this Oval 'Basket' wall clock is one of the more rare editions. Small black circles mark the number positions arou...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Rattan

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

Don Shoemaker Large Exotic Wood Inlaid Tray for Señal, circa 1970
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Exquisitely crafted slim rectangular shape tray designed by Don Shoemaker for Sen~al of Mexico. Taking advantage of the expertise provided by Mexican artisans, Shoemaker founded Sen~...
Category

1970s Mexican Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Jacaranda, Rosewood, Cocobolo

Vintage Encaustic Americana Folk Art Landscape Painting
Located in Vero Beach, FL
Vintage Encaustic Americana folk art landscape painting This charming scenic painting is executed in encaustic mixed medium, using wax, colored pigments and oil paint in a masterf...
Category

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

Materials

Wood

Set of 5 Majolica Fish Sealife Platters Vallauris, circa 1950
Located in The Hills, TX
Amazing set of 5 Majolica sealife platters Vallauris, circa 1950. High relief of fishs, starfish,coral,seawwds,oyster,shells,seahorse,lobster. Nautical style.  
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic, Faience, Majolica

Original Peter Keil Framed Acrylic and Pen on Paper
Located in Wichita, KS
This painting is from signed artist Peter Keil and come framed in a black wood frame and new matte. These pieces are unusual and rare. I have another the same size that has green and...
Category

20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paint, Paper

Original Peter Keil Framed Acrylic and Pen on Paper
Located in Wichita, KS
This painting is from signed artist Peter Keil and come framed in a black wood frame and new matte. These pieces are unusual and rare. I have another the same size that has pink and ...
Category

20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paint, Paper

Wall Lamp 1970s Brass & Copper, Tommaso Barbi for Bottega Gadda manner
Located in Vigonza, Padua
Spectacular wall lamp decorative handicrafts tree in brass and enamelled copper It can be used as decoration on a white wall with retro lighting as big a wall lamp. Coming from the f...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Brass, Copper

Art Panel Hand Carved by Nioi, Italy, 1974 in the Style of Nerone & Patuzzi
Located in Antwerp, BE
Artwork, carved wall panel, assemblage, Nioi, Italy 1974 Masterpiece hand carved panel, part of a series of three large pieces. Bespoke artwork for a Veneto Hotel. ...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Pine

Leonard Nierman Mid Century Oil on Masonite Painting
Located in La Grange, IL
Leonard Nierman Mid Century oil on masonite painting This piece measures: 38.25 wide x 2 deep x 30.5 inches wide This painting is in excellent vintage condition. Each piece i...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wood, Canvas

Large Mid-Century Modern Cityscape Modern Bridge Sunset Dusk Painting Framed
Located in Wayne, NJ
1960's City Scape Bridge Landscape Sunset Dusk Dawn. Unsigned, but it was not removed from frame. Measure: 49".
Category

1960s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paint

Philippe Starck 'Fenc-e-Nature' Outdoor Sofa, Steel, Teak and Fabric
Located in La Grange, IL
Sofa designed by Philippe Starck in 2020. Manufactured by Cassina in Italy. Defined by Philippe Starck as "a lifestyle collection of relaxed elegance", Fenc-e Nature sees the desi...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Canvas, Wood

Carved Wall Panel by Nioi, Italy, 1974 in the Style of Nerone & Patuzzi
Located in Antwerp, BE
Artwork, carved wall panel, assemblage, Nioi, Italy, 1974. Masterpiece hand carved panel, part of a series of three large pieces. Bespoke artwork for a Veneto Hotel. ...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Pine

Hand Carved Art Panel by Nioi, Italy, 1974 in the Style of Nerone & Patuzzi
Located in Antwerp, BE
Artwork, Carved wall panel, assemblage, Nioi, Italy 1974. Masterpiece hand carved panel, part of a series of three large pieces. Bespoke artwork for a Veneto Hotel. ...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Pine

1950s Tin Advertising Beer Sign for Belgian Beer Ekla, Brewery Vandenheuvel
Located in Antwerp, BE
Great looking Advertising Beer sign for the Belgian Beer Ekla, made by Brewery Vandenheuvel Brussels . This Belgian Brewery was housed in Molenbeek - Brussels untill the 1970s, whe...
Category

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

Materials

Tin

Painting by Peter Keil, Mid-Century Modern Art, Black and White, circa 1957, Art
Located in New York, NY
Peter Robert Keil was born to an artist blacksmith father whom he lost very early in his childhood during the Second World War. During the end phase of the war, Keil's mother, also a...
Category

1950s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Acrylic

Jaime Hayon King Kong Mirror
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Mirrors available in two sizes. Decorative patterns are applied in gold or black. The back of each mirror is black. Measure: 120 cm.
Category

2010s Spanish Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Mirror

Marta Maas-Fjetterström Framed Handwoven Wall Tapestry
Located in Copenhagen, DK
A beautiful handwoven textile in tapestry technique by Marta Maas-Fjetterström. Framed in dark stained oak and double glass (sandwich) so that the wall color shows next to the tap...
Category

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

Materials

Wool

Fontana Arte Center Piece or Wall Decoration by Dube’
Located in New York, NY
Fontana Arte center piece made by Italian artist Dube’ in the 1950s representing a red lily with gold accents. He created the piece by back painting a curved glass and then etching i...
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Glass

Newly Framed Signed Patrick Hughes Screenprint, 1976
Located in San Francisco, CA
"On Reflection" Patrick Hughes born 1939 Limited edition screenprint #49/100 matte gray shadowbox 2.25" thick frame UV protection glass About: This is an original limited e...
Category

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

Materials

Wood, Paper

Italian Mid-Century Decorative Panel, 1950s
Located in Meda, MB
1950s decorative panel, composed by six tiles laid on wood base, decorated with abstracted illustrations. The frame is in white lacquered solid wood. The signature does not deciph...
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Painting by Peter Keil, Mid-Century Modern Art, Black and White, C 1964, Art
Located in New York, NY
Peter Robert Keil was born to an artist blacksmith father whom he lost very early in his childhood during the Second World War during the end phase of the war, Keil's mother, also an...
Category

1960s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Acrylic

Original Action Painting, Circa 1965
Located in Houston, TX
Original action painting, (circa 1965): tempura paint on heavy paper, unsigned. Framed in unfinished maple with a mat window of 21 inches diameter. Two more similar original action p...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Maple, Paint, Paper

Original Action Painting, Circa 1965
Located in Houston, TX
Original action painting (circa 1965), tempura paint on heavy paper, unsigned. Framed in unfinished maple with a mat window of 21 inches diameter. One more similar original action pa...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Maple, Paint, Paper

Handcut Marbleized Paper Butterfly Box
Located in Houston, TX
Handcut marbleized butterfly box from vintage hand painted Marbalia wallpaper samples (circa 1957) handcut into butterfly shapes. Each mounted on brushed gold foil. Marbalia wallpape...
Category

2010s American Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Foil

Martin Rosenthal Abstract Orange, Blue, Green Oil on Paper Custom Framed Vintage
Located in North Miami, FL
This wonderful and colorful vertical abstract signed and dated oil on paper by Martin Rosenthal 1968 has newly been custom framed in a light wood frame to compliment the multitude of...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Linen, Wood, Paint, Paper

2 Large 1950s Vietri Ceramic Sea Creatures Wall Hangings Blue Yellow and Ochre
Located in London, GB
2 impressive Vintage Vietri Wall Hanging ceramic or Stoneware Sea Creatures, a huge jelly fish and a starfish designed and signed by Ceramiche Artistiche Solimene, CAS, manufactured ...
Category

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

Materials

Ceramic

Set of 4 Jean Cocteau Porcelain Decorative Collectible Art Plates
Located in North Hollywood, CA
1950's Jean Cocteau Orpheus small decorative collectible plate. Set of 4 Jean Cocteau Limoges France Art Porcelain China decorative plates. Made in France. After the drawings of J...
Category

Late 20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Porcelain

1960s Canvas Wall School Chart of the Hedgehog by Jung Koch Quentell
Located in Antwerp, BE
1960s canvas wall school chart, Pull down chart with beautiful illustration of the hedgehog. It shows the anatomical details of the animal on a black background. This pull down ...
Category

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

Materials

Canvas, Wood, Paper

Jette Hellerøe Midcentury Danish Ceramic Wall Decor Platter Abstract Motif 1960s
Located in Aarhus C, DK
Midcentury ceramic wall decor by Danish ceramist Jette Hellerøe, ca 1960s. It shows a raised abstract organically shaped decor with dark brown / black glaze on a beige background. ...
Category

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

Materials

Ceramic

Schumacher by Peg Norriss Steps Wallpaper Mural in Sky & Saddle
Located in New York, NY
Peg Norriss—the brainchild of designer Barrie Benson and gallerist Chandra Johnson—works with leading contemporary artists to create showstopping wallpapers. A mesmerizing, loosely a...
Category

2010s American Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paper

Schumacher by Peg Norriss Steps Wallpaper Mural in Rose & Camel
Located in New York, NY
Peg Norriss—the brainchild of designer Barrie Benson and gallerist Chandra Johnson—works with leading contemporary artists to create showstopping wallpapers. A mesmerizing, loosely a...
Category

2010s American Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paper

Schumacher by Josef Frank Citrus Garden Wallpaper Mural in Primary
Located in New York, NY
Based on an archival 1947 Josef Frank print, this hand-drawn pattern bears the designer’s signature modernity, whimsy, and warmth. Panel Width: 27" Overall Dimensions: 54" W x...
Category

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

Materials

Paper

Schumacher by Josef Frank Citrus Garden Wallpaper Mural in Pool Blue
Located in New York, NY
Based on an archival 1947 Josef Frank print, this hand-drawn pattern bears the designer’s signature modernity, whimsy, and warmth. Panel Width: 27" Overall Dimensions: 54" W x...
Category

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

Materials

Paper

Peter Keil Oil on Board Abstract Painting Custom Framed Signed, 1960s
Located in North Miami, FL
This wonderful abstract vintage painting has influences of Miro and his painterly strokes and gestures of paint in abstract form. The background is tan with stokes of black dark gray...
Category

1960s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Linen, Wood

Vintage Taxidermy Butterfly Collection in Lucite Display Signed by Linda Bosse
Located in St. Louis, MO
Vintage Mid-Century Modern 1970s curiosities collection of exotic mounted butterflies of various species, in custom Lucite box totaling 18 butterflies, signed by the artist Linda Bos...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Lucite

Abstract Relief Painting by Sid Birnbaum
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A colorful abstract painting by Sid Birnbaum, using lacquered wood construction and rendered in a Cubism-inspired style. Signed and dated 1986. Please confirm item location with sell...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wood

Natalie Cole Signed Oil on Board Painting "Lady Godiva" Vintage
Located in North Miami, FL
This large 1960s oil on masonite powerful and dramatic painting is by a woman painter named Natalie Cole. This is the male version of Lady Godiva. It is newly magnificently custom fr...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Silver Leaf

Curtis Jere Mid Century Brass Raindrops Sculpture
Located in La Grange, IL
Curtis Jere mid century brass raindrops sculpture This piece measures: 22 wide x 7.5 deep x 40.5 inches high All pieces of furniture can be had in what we call restored vintage c...
Category

1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Brass

Ellis, Impressionist Landscape Painting of the American West, 1950s
Located in San Francisco, CA
An absolutely lovely and luminous 1950s Impressionist oil painting on canvas over board of a colorful Western or Southwestern America landscape, signed “Ellis”. Beautifully executed...
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Canvas, Oak, Paint, Paper

Mid-Century Modern Mixed Media Collage Signed by Artist Nina Negri
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Beautiful one of a kind mixed media collage signed by the artist. The collage features a range of materials layered beautifully to create a stunning landscape composition with a shin...
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Canvas, Paper

Ben Abril “Tomales Bay California”, Impressionist Landscape Painting, 1960s
Located in San Francisco, CA
A charmingly evocative 1960s oil on canvas Impressionist landscape & seascape painting titled “Tomales Bay California” by important mid-century Los Angeles artist Ben Abril. En plei...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Canvas, Linen, Giltwood, Paint

Ben Abril, Impressionist Portrait Painting of Nixon's Poodle Vicky, 1960s
Located in San Francisco, CA
A very fetching untitled 1960s oil on canvas Impressionist portrait painting of what we believe might be former President Richard Nixon’s French poodle, Vicky, by important mid-centu...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wood, Wood, Canvas, Linen, Paint

Chamberlain Signed Watercolor Mid-Century Modern Custom Museum Framed
Located in North Miami, FL
This vintage signed original one of a kind watercolor by Chamberlain and dated 1960 has a real sensuality to it. This has been tastefully and beautifully museum reframed with a deep ...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Silver Leaf

No Title
Located in Mexico City, MX
Sergio Hernández is a Mexican painter originally from Oaxaca, a forerunner of the legacy of renowned artists such as Francisco Toledo. Within his work we can see elements typical of ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary North American Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paper

Vintage Artists Palette Floor Light, English, Mid-20th Century
Located in St Annes, Lancashire
Fabulous and highly sculptural floor light inspired by an artist’s palette. Designer unknown. Made from obeche wood and brass tube. The wood has been varnished, ebonized and paint...
Category

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

Materials

Wood

Vintage Sculptural Crystal Vase, French, 1950s
Located in St Annes, Lancashire
Wonderful asymmetrical shaped crystal vase A great piece of sculpture as well as functional. Good size, perfect condition. Makers mark on the base. Not clear but it is prob...
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Art Glass

Painting, Signed Gunter, circa 1969, Green and Blue Color, "Dancers", Midcentury
Located in New York, NY
Decorative painting, signed Gunter, 1969. Four young ladies dancing. Framed in a beautiful linen matting and gold frame.
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Acrylic

Painting, Signed, Midcentury Art, Green, Red and Taupe Colors, circa 1950
Located in New York, NY
Decorative painting of a young lady, midcentury. Signed. Very good condition, circa 1950.
Category

1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Acrylic

Mixed Media Painting by Ann Broadway
Located in San Antonio, TX
Mixed media painting/collage/poetry on board by Ann Broadway. This large painting is in good condition.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Other

Mid Century Butterfly Ceramic Bowl by San Polo, Italy
Located in Albano Laziale, Rome/Lazio
Italian ceramic bowl with a curved rim depicting a fantasy butterfly, possible to hang on the wall or for practical use. By San Polo ceramics Venezia made in the 1950s by the renowne...
Category

20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Mid Century Butterfly Ceramic Bowl by San Polo, Italy
Located in Albano Laziale, Rome/Lazio
Italian ceramic bowl with a curved rim depicting a fantasy butterfly, possible to hang on the wall or for practical use. By San Polo ceramics Venezia made in the 1950s by the renowne...
Category

20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

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

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