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Mid-Century Modern Drawings

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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Antoni Tàpies Informalism Red Etching, Visca Catalunya, 1976
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Antoni Tàpies etching Visca Catalunya, 1976 Signed by hand edition 75 Measuress: 76 x 56 cm.
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1970s Spanish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Mid-Century Modern Framed Hans Hartung Limited Edition Etching Hand Signed 1960s
Located in Keego Harbor, MI
For your consideration is an excellent, framed and hand signed etching, by Hans Hartung, numbered 65/100, circa the 1960s. In excellent vintage condition. The dimensions of the frame...
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1960s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

1979 Luciano Mattioli 2 Italian Design Drawings for a Modern Desk Light Project
Located in New York, NY
Dated industrial hand drawings, highly collectible Italian Product Design for a desk light project, free hand illustration in pastels and gouache on black cardboard, by the Italian d...
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1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paint, Paper

Portrait of a Young Man in Charcoal
Located in London, GB
An English portrait of a young man in charcoal on parchment, framed in walnut. Dated and signed 1969.
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1960s English Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Walnut

1979 Italian Design Drawing/Sketch for a Modern Green Desk Light by Mattioli
Located in New York, NY
Dated mid-20th century industrial hand drawing by designer Luciano Mattioli. Highly collectible vintage Italian Product Design for a desk light project, realized without a ruler, in ...
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1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper, Paint, Crayon

One 1979 Mattioli Italian Design Drawing for a Modern Red Desk Light Project
Located in New York, NY
Dated mid-20th century industrial hand drawing, highly collectible Italian modern Product Design for a lacquer red desk light project, realized without a ruler in pastels and gouache...
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1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper, Crayon, Paint

Fernand Leger and Poem Andre Verdet Numered and Signed Lithography
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Lithographie Fernand Léger and poem André Verdet made in France in 1980 Numered and signed by Andre Verdet limited edition of 150.  
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1980s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Original Fashion Drawing, Pat Kerr, 1946
Located in St Annes, Lancashire
Wonderful ink and wash by Pat Kerr, 1946. So evocative of the 1940s. On card. Unsigned. Presented in an antique water gilded frame Drawn for A & C Kay, New Bond St. London. ...
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1940s English Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Original Monochrome Fashion Drawing, Pat Kerr, 1946
Located in St Annes, Lancashire
Wonderful pen and ink drawing by Pat Kerr, 1946. So evocative of the 1940s. On card. Unsigned. Presented in the original black lacquer frame. Drawn for A & C Kay, New Bond S...
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1940s English Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Original Artwork for a Detective Newspaper Strip, 1940s
Located in St Annes, Lancashire
Amazing artwork for a story by James Hadley Chase. So evocative of this period. We have found no record of this story, A Medal for Miss Lantis, so presumably it was never publishe...
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1940s English Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Charcoal Drawing by Jan Yoors
Located in New York, NY
Jan Yoors, (Belgium, 1922-1977). G-15.25. Signed, framed and dated. The charcoal drawings are a series that Yoors began in the late 1940s, and which he continued throughout his caree...
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20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drawings

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Plexiglass, Hardwood, Paper

Henri Van Wynsberghe "port de menton, bateaux à quai ", Charcoal Drawing, 1977
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
Henri Van Wynsberghe "port de menton , bateaux à quai ", Charcoal Drawing, 1977.
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1970s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Henri Van Wynsberghe "Vallon", Charcoal Drawing, 1979
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
Henri Van Wynsberghe '1921-2018' known as Henri Victor member of the Roubaix group "Vallon", charcoal drawing monogrammed and dated 79 framed, anti-reflective protective glass.
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1970s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Dora Maar Pointillist Surrealist Landscape Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper, 20th century, undated. In good ori...
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1970s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Carlo Mollino Drawing for a Radio Gramophone Cabinet, Circa 1944-46
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Carlo Mollino Italy, c. 1944-46 Graphite on Paper illustration of a radio gramophone cabinet designed for the Ada and Cesare Minola House, Turin. provenance: Galerie Denys B...
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Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Wood, Paper

Red Black Abstract Art Ink on Paper Style Carlos Merida Modern Mexico, 1970s
By Carlos Mérida
Located in National City, CA
Mexican Mid-Century Modern art signed. Unable to read signature. Red and black beautiful ink on paper. Framed. Signed pencil lower right corner. Uniquely designed brass hook for han...
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1970s Mexican Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Henri Van Wynsberghe '1921-2018'"Village Du Lot", Charcoal and Chalk Drawing, 82
Located in Saint-Ouen, FR
Henri Van Wynsberghe (1921-2018) known as Henri Victor "Village du Lot", charcoal and chalk drawing monogrammed and dated 82 framed under glass.
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1980s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Vintage Framed Sketch Two Cows Book Peinture et Dessins de Paul Jouve, 1930
Located in Miami, FL
Vintage black wood framed sketch of two cows, from the Book Peinture et Dessins de Paul Jouve. Dated circa 1930. Not an original Paul Jouve drawing. Sketch size: 7.75 x 4.38 inches...
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Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture 3s Architecture Book 1st Edition
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture 3s, Phaidon, Book 1st Edition. Achitecture 3s: Frank Lloyd Wright By Dunlop, Beth & Hector, Denis (Eds) W/McCarter; Weston & Steele. Part of a serie...
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20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

"Seated Male Figure, Beachside," Early Drawing by John B. Lear with Cabana
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Finely and beautifully captured, this depiction of a shirtless young man, handsome and pensive, sitting on the beach with his legs grasped in his arms, is a rare, early drawing by Jo...
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1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Vintage Framed Sketch Snake from the Book Peinture et Dessins de Paul Jouve 1930
Located in Miami, FL
Vintage black wood framed sketch of a rolled up snake, from the Book Peinture et Dessins de Paul Jouve. Dated circa 1930. Not an original Paul Jouve drawing. Sketch size: 7.5 x 5.2...
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Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Wood, Paper, Glass

Vintage Framed Sketch Grazing Ram Book Peinture et Dessins de Paul Jouve, 1930
Located in Miami, FL
Vintage black wood framed sketch of a grazing Ram in the bushes, from the Book Peinture et Dessins de Paul Jouve. Dated circa 1930. Not an original Paul Jouve drawing. Sketch size:...
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Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Mid-Century Modern Framed Salvador Dali Signed Drypoint Etching 1960s 31/200
Located in Keego Harbor, MI
For your consideration is a mesmerizing, framed, Surrealist drypoint print, entitled "Flodali le Pamplemousse Erotique," signed by Salvador Dali, dated 1969 and numbered 31/200. In e...
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1960s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Mid-Century Modern Framed Salvador Dali Signed Drypoint Etching 1960s Grenade
Located in Keego Harbor, MI
For your consideration is a captivating, framed, Surrealist drypoint print, entitled "Grenade et l'Ange," signed by Salvador Dali, dated 1969 and numbered 158/200. In excellent condi...
Category

1960s Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Dora Maar Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Signed in ink in the lower right corner. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Exceptional Pointillist Drawing by Dora Maar, circa 1960
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Signed in ink in the lower right corner. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Oil on Wood Landscape by Charles Edouard, circa 1931
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Charles Edouard oil on wood landscape, circa 1931. In original condition, with minor wear consistent with age and use.  
Category

1930s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Wood

Luigi Veronesi "Composizione" Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
'Composizione' original drawing by Luigi Veronesi, circa 1984. Crayon on paper. In original good condition. Luigi Veronesi (1908-1998) was an Italian photographer, painter, ...
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1980s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

One 1979 Mattioli Italian Design Drawing for a Modern Desk Light Project
Located in New York, NY
Dated Industrial free hand drawings, highly collectible Italian Product Design for a desk light project, realized without ruler in pastels and gouache on black cardboard, by the Ital...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paint, Paper

Dora Maar Pointillist Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Hand signed in the lower right corner. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper. ...
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1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Brassaï Lithography Hand Signed
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Lithography hand signed by Brassaï from the book "Historie de Marie" Limited edition of 12/ 126 With some moisture spots Framed on a 20th century frame with museum glass. ...
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1940s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Dora Maar Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper. 20th century, undated. Frame not inclu...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Modernist Etching, Artist Proof, c. 1962
Located in Chicago, IL
A chic modernist artist proof etching by James Quentin Young depicting a kneeling figure rendered in bold geometric shapes and embellished with gray and black ink. Frame is original ...
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1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Julio González Hand Signed Drawing, 1936
By Julio González
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Drawing by Julio González, 1936 With moisture spots that have been treated and neutralized Julio González was born in Barcelona on September 21, 1876. At the age of 15, Gonzále...
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1930s Spanish Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Dora Maar Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar, circa 1960. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper. 20th century, undated. ...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

1979 Italian Design Drawing Sketch for a Desk Light Project by Luciano Mattioli
Located in New York, NY
Dated mid-20th century industrial hand drawing, highly collectible Italian modern Product Design for a lacquer yellow desk light project, realized without ruler in pastels and gouach...
Category

1970s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper, Paint, Crayon

Dora Maar Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper, 20th century, undated. Framed on a ear...
Category

1950s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Legendary New Yorker Cartoonist George Price "Quack" Original Drawing
Located in Sharon, CT
Depicting a duck hunter in a boat dressed as a decoy, the caption reading "Quack". Drawn with pencil on illustration board and tracing paper (overlay) in pencil and blue and white go...
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Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Dora Maar Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Hand signed in the lower right corner. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper, ...
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1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Rinaldo Geleng Signed Italian Portrait
Located in Paris, FR
Portrait of the road cycling champion Fausto Coppi (1919–1960) by the artist Rinaldo Geleng, drawn for an article by Gianni Reif two years after the champion’s death. Wood frame and ...
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1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Wood, Paper

Black and White Charcoal Drawing
Located in Pasadena, CA
Mysterious subject for this charcoal painting in a cerused frame. Beautiful work but unfortunately signature eligible.
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1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

"Man with Blue Eyes," Portrait by Paul Cadmus, Possibly of Robert F. Kennedy
By Paul Cadmus
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Although there is no evidence that Paul Cadmus knew Robert F. Kennedy, this portrait of a handsome, youthful man with blue eyes and a thick head of hair suggests that the artist admi...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Portrait of a Little Girl Signed Gino Hollander
Located in Pasadena, CA
Minimalist drawing of a little girl. Signed and dated 1962. The drawing paper is kind of cringle. It's like he took any piece of paper to draw the portrait and give it to her parent...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Wood, Canvas, Paper

Dora Maar Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Hand signed in the lower right corner. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper. ...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Dora Maar Drawing
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Signed in ink in the lower right corner. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper...
Category

1970s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

John Joseph Owens Male Nude Figure Study, 1909, Charcoal on Paper, Signed, Dated
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Owens, John Joseph (American/West Virginia 1887-1931), Model Portrait Study, signed and dated 1909, charcoal on laid paper and pen and ink. Provenance: artist's estate Dimensions...
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Early 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Dora Maar Hand Signed Drawing, circa 1960
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Drawing by Dora Maar. Hand signed. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper, 20th century, undated. Frame not include...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Pointillist Color Drawing on Paper by Dora Maar
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink and color pencils on cream white paper. 20th century, undated...
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1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Original Drawing by Gio Ponti for Touring Carrozzeria Milan, 1952
Located in Dronten, NL
Important drawing by Gio Ponti of the Diamante line for Touring Carrozzeria Milan. A similar example pictured on page 167 of Gio Ponti: The Complete Work by Lisa Ponti. Ponti's ca...
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Dora Maar Hand Signed Color Drawing, circa 1960
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper. 20th century, undated. Frame not inclu...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

André Lhote Drawing La Coiffeuse Hand Signed, circa 1920
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Drawing by André Lhote, circa 1920. Hand signed Dimensions of the layer: 26 x 20 cm. Hand signed. Framed in 19th century frame. In original condition. André Lhote was ...
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1920s European Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

1949 W. Fredericks Abstract Cubist Pastel Drawing
Located in Miami, FL
1949 W. Fredericks abstract cubist pastel drawing Offered for sale is an original 1949 W. Fredericks abstract Cubist mixed-media pastel drawing on paper with color pencil. The draw...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Giltwood, Paper

Lithography Gebr. Eglin in Luzern, Switzerland
Located in Pully, CH
Beautiful lithography framed in a masonic shape.
Category

19th Century Swiss Antique Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Sascha Brastoff Original King of Hearts Drawing, 1965
Located in San Diego, CA
Sascha Brastoff original King of Hearts drawing. Charcoal on period newspaper. Signed and dated 1965. Great original matching hand carved wood frame with a hearts theme.
Category

1960s North American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper, Wood

Etching by Pablo Picasso “La Celestine”, 1968
Located in Pully, CH
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) 'La Célestine Fuite', etching from 'La Célestine' Description on the last photo Watermark
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Gio Ponti Sketch "Disegni per Vasi Incrociatifor", Italy, 1950
Located in New York, NY
A wonderfully whimsical concept drawing of two vases. Authentication papers from the Gio Ponti archives provided with drawing.
Category

1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper

Pair of Etchings by Peter Max V3 X and XI
Located in Rio Vista, CA
Fantastic pair of rare framed etchings by Peter Max (American b. 1937) V3 X and XI. In the manner of Picasso each color pencil signed lower center and titled lower left 63 of 99. Mou...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper, Linen, Plexiglass, Giltwood

Pointillist Drawing on Paper by Dora Maar
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Pointillist composition by Dora Maar. Authenticity stamp of the auction that took place in 1998 in Paris. Black ink on cream white paper. 20th century, undated. Frame not inclu...
Category

1960s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Drawings

Materials

Paper