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Mid-Century American Furniture

Mid-Century Modern Furniture Collection

U.S.A. (ca. 1933 - 1965)

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.

     Post-war 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 pieces shown here demonstrate, the Mid-century Modern American period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.

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Womb Settee by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
The Exchange Int
Edward Wormley Chaises Longues, 1957
Almond Hartzog Gallery
John Follis "Peanut" Planter
E.T. Burk
Edward Wormley Revolving Chair
CONVERSO
Marble Sculpture by Claire Pasarow
Habite LA
Edward Wormley Rare Cases
CONVERSO
Pair Of Paul Evans Side Tables
Adam Edelsberg
Pair of Dan Johnson armchairs
J.F. CHEN
Charles Eames Original Storage Unit 420-N
Collage 20th Century Classics
Edward Wormley Bracket Back Sofa
CONVERSO
Edward Wormley Tripod Snack Table
Century Design Ltd.
Edward Wormley Pair of Dressers
CONVERSO
Eames Office radio for Emerson
Porch Modern
Milo Baughman Chairs
Almond Hartzog Gallery
Stunning Burlwood Sideboard by Pace Collection
Montaperto
Set of Six Saarinen Model 71 Armchairs
Pegboard Modern
A Rare Beverly Pepper Offset Lithograph
Gary Rubinstein Antiques Palm Beach
T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings Armchairs
Modern Drama
Pair of Dunbar Dressers
CONVERSO
Floating Server by Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin
Dual
Eames For Herman Miller Compact Sofa
Metro Retro Furniture / MCM Furniture
Rare Harry Bertoia Side Chair
Frank Landau - Selected Design Objects & Fine Art
Iconic Rohde for Herman Miller desk clockOn Hold
The Lush Life Antiques
Harvey Probber Bar Cabinet
Pierre Anthony Galleries
Historic Edward Wormley Bench
CONVERSO
Coffee Table In Style Of Isamu Noguchi
Pascale Drieux Antiquites
screens by Charles and Ray Eames
WYETH
Adrian Pearsall Highback Lounge Chair
AUBERY
Charles Eames RKR-1 Wire Rocker Herman Miller
Just in Modern
A Rosewood Cabinet by Harvey Probber, USA, c.1970's
Todd Merrill 20th Century
Isamu Noguchi Attributed Vintage Cocktail Table
S. Julian
Chrome Lounge Chair
Antiques du Monde
Melcolm Leeland Space Bank
CONVERSO
Edward Wormley Prototype Rocking Chaise
CONVERSO
Dan Kiley Built-In Cabinet
Weinberg Modern
John Keal Chaise Three Position Chaise
CONVERSO
A-Frame desk chair by Edward Wormley
WYETH
Mid-Century Dunbar Sofa
MONC XIII
Early Green Glass Coffee Table by Isamu Noguchi
20th Century Interiors
ISAMU NOGUCHI
CONVERSO
Dunbar Sofa
DeAngelis
Pair of Beacon Column Table Lamps
Dual
Set of Three Nesting Tables by Edward Wormley
Lobel Modern, Inc
Edward Wormley
CONVERSO
Widdicomb Dresser designed by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings
20CDesign.com
The Janus Game Table by Edward Wormley for Dunbar
Sputnik Modern
Eames Zenith Shell arm chair
Century Design Ltd.
Pair Milo Baughman End Tables
The Collection Los Angeles
1952 Eames LCW lounge chair by Herman Miller
Pegboard Modern