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Alvar Aalto

Alvar Aalto (Finland, 1898-1976)

An architect and designer, Alvar Aalto deserves an immense share of the credit for bringing Scandinavian modernism to a prominent place in the global arena. In both his buildings and in his furnishings — which range from chairs, tables and lighting to table- and glassware — Aalto’s sensitivity to the natural world and to organic forms and materials tempered the hardness of rationalist design.

     Relatively few Aalto buildings exist outside Finland. (Just four exist in the United States, and only one — the sinuous 1945 Baker House dormitory at M.I.T. — is easily visited.) International attention came to Aalto, whose surname translates to English as “wave,” primarily through his furniture.

     Instead of the tubular metal framing favored by the Bauhaus designers and Le Corbusier, Aalto insisted on wood. His aesthetic is best represented by the “Paimio chair,” developed in 1930 as part of his overall design of a Finnish tuberculosis sanatorium. Comfortable, yet light enough to be easily moved by patients, the chair’s frame is composed of two laminated birch loops; the seat and back are formed from a single sheet of plywood that scrolls under at the headrest and beneath the knees, creating a sort of pillow effect. Aalto’s use of plywood had enormous influence on Charles Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Marcel Breuer and others who later came to the material.

     Concerned with keeping up standards of quality in the production of his designs, Aalto formed the still-extant company Artek in 1935, along with his wife, Aino Aalto, whose glass designs were made by the firm. In the latter medium, in 1936 the Aaltos together created the iconic, undulating “Savoy vase,” so-called for the luxe Helsinki restaurant for which the piece was designed. Artek also produced Aalto lighting designs, many of which — such as the “Angel’s Wing” floor lamp and the “Beehive” pendant — incorporate a signature Aalto detail: shades made of concentric enameled-metal rings graduated down in diameter. The effect of the technique is essential Alvar Aalto: at once precise, simple, and somehow poetic.

Alvar Aalto Bentwood Stools, Finland, circa 1950
Alvar Aalto Bentwood Stools, Finland, circa 1950
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1950s Finnish Modern Stools
Teak
Alvar Aalto bentwood stools, Finland, circa 1950. Model K65 teak barstools in original condition. Measures: 13" W x 14" D x 28" H x 23.5" seat.
Authentic Pendant Light A330S "Golden Bell Savoy" Raw Brass, Alvar Aalto & Artek
Authentic Pendant Light A330S "Golden Bell Savo...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Brass
Alvar and Aino Aalto were commissioned to design the interior of the Savoy Restaurant in Helsinki in 1936. Made from a single piece of brass, the Golden Bell was custom-designed as a...
Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp for Valaistustyö, Finland, 1956
Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp for Valaistustyö, Finlan...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Mid-20th Century Finnish Mid-Century Modern Floor Lamps
Metal
Iconic floor lamp by famous Finish designer Alvar Aalto, manufactured by Valaistustyö in Finland, in 1956. This unique design was originally made for Helsinki's Social Insurance I...
Pair of Chairs and Stools Designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek, Finland, 1950s
Pair of Chairs and Stools Designed by Alvar Aal...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Children's Furniture
Faux Leather, Plywood
Pair of chairs and stools designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek, Finland, 1950s. Lacquered birch and red synthetic leather.  
Authentic High Chair K65 in Lacquered Birch by Alvar Aalto & Artek
Authentic High Chair K65 in Lacquered Birch by ...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Stools
Birch
Combining the best elements of both a stool and a chair, Alvar Aalto's High Chair K65 is perfectly proportioned for counter-height seating. The molded birch plywood backrest is low, ...
Authentic High Chair K65 in Birch with Linoleum Seat by Alvar Aalto & Artek
Authentic High Chair K65 in Birch with Linoleum...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Stools
Birch
Combining the best elements of both a stool and a chair, Alvar Aalto's high chair K65 is perfectly proportioned for counter-height seating. The molded birch plywood backrest is low, ...
Authentic Pendant Light A331 "Beehive" in White with Chrome, Alvar Aalto & Artek
Authentic Pendant Light A331 "Beehive" in White...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Aluminum
Alvar Aalto first introduced the light A331 pendant as part of the décor of the University of Jyväskylä. Also known as Beehive, it has become one of Artek’s most popular lights. A331...
Authentic Pendant Light A110 "Hand Grenade" in Black by Alvar Aalto & Artek
Authentic Pendant Light A110 "Hand Grenade" in ...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Steel
The A110 pendant lamp was designed by Alvar Aalto for the building of the Finnish Engineers' Association. The lamp's beauty is based on its shape which is extremely simple and unique...
Authentic High Chair K65 in Birch with Laminate Seat by Alvar Aalto & Artek
Authentic High Chair K65 in Birch with Laminate...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Stools
Birch
Combining the best elements of both a stool and a chair, Alvar Aalto's high chair K65 is perfectly proportioned for counter-height seating. The molded birch plywood backrest is low, ...
Authentic Tea Trolley 901 in Birch by Alvar Aalto & Artek
Authentic Tea Trolley 901 in Birch by Alvar Aal...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Carts and Bar ...
Birch
Alvar Aalto's Tea Trolleys serve as highly functional and distinctive additions to a dining room or hospitality area. Introduced at the 1937 Paris World's Fair, they are in the perma...
Authentic Pendant Light A330S "Golden Bell" in Chrome by Alvar Aalto & Artek
Authentic Pendant Light A330S "Golden Bell" in ...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Steel, Chrome
Alvar and Aino Aalto were commissioned to design the interior of the Savoy Restaurant in Helsinki in 1936. Made from a single piece of brass, the Golden Bell was custom-designed as a...
Authentic Pendant Light A330S "Golden Bell" in White by Alvar Aalto & Artek
Authentic Pendant Light A330S "Golden Bell" in ...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Steel
Alvar and Aino Aalto were commissioned to design the interior of the Savoy Restaurant in Helsinki in 1936. Made from a single piece of brass, the Golden Bell was custom-designed as a...
Authentic Tea Trolley 901 in Black Birch by Alv...
Alvar Aalto, Artek, Hella Jongerius
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Carts and Bar ...
Birch
Alvar Aalto's Tea Trolleys serve as highly functional and distinctive additions to a dining room or hospitality area. Introduced at the 1937 Paris World's Fair, they are in the perma...
Authentic Bench 153A in Birch with Black Lacque...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Benches
Birch
"These solid birch benches were designed by Alvar Aalto in 1945. They are available in two sizes to easily fit in an entryway or act as a casual living room table. The sturdy constru...
Authentic High Chair K65 in Birch with Black La...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Stools
Birch
Combining the best elements of both a stool and a chair, Alvar Aalto's high chair K65 is perfectly proportioned for counter-height seating. The molded birch plywood backrest is low, ...
Authentic Bench 153A in Birch by Alvar Aalto & ...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Benches
Birch
These solid birch benches were designed by Alvar Aalto in 1945. They are available in two sizes to easily fit in an entryway or act as a casual living room table. The sturdy construc...
Authentic Pendant Light A331 "Beehive" in White...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Aluminum
lvar Aalto first introduced the light A331 pendant as part of the décor of the University of Jyväskylä. Also known as Beehive, it has become one of Artek’s most popular lights. A331’...
Authentic Pendant Light A330S "Golden Bell" in ...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Steel
Alvar and Aino Aalto were commissioned to design the interior of the Savoy Restaurant in Helsinki in 1936. Made from a single piece of brass, the Golden Bell was custom-designed as a...
Authentic Pendant Light A330S "Golden Bell" Coa...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Brass
Alvar and Aino Aalto were commissioned to design the interior of the Savoy Restaurant in Helsinki in 1936. Made from a single piece of brass, the Golden Bell was custom-designed as a...
Authentic Pendant Light A110 "Hand Grenade" in ...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Steel
The A110 Pendant lamp was designed by Alvar Aalto for the building of the Finnish Engineers' Association. The lamp's beauty is based on its shape which is extremely simple and unique...
Floor Lamp by Alvar Aalto, Artek Editions, Finl...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1950s Finnish Floor Lamps
White enameled metal, vented roughly conical shade on a black leather sleeved brass shaft, impressed with maker’s mark; from Aalto’s (1898-1976) “Angel Wing” series, model A805. Lite...
1960s Golden Brass Ceiling Lamp by Paavo Tynell...
Alvar Aalto, Paavo Tynell, Taito Oy
Vintage 1960s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Metal
Brass and etched glass, ceiling lamp by Paavo Tynell, Finland, 1965. Very elegant counterweight pendant designed by famous Finnish Paavo Tynell in brass, tapered with etched glas ...
Pair of Aalto Chairs, Model 45
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1940s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Beech
Pair of Alvar Aalto lounge chairs model no. 45 in beech and patinated leather. Designed in 1947 for Artek. Great original condition.
Set of 4 Chair, Model 611, Alvar Aalto for Artek
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Early 20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Dining Room Chairs
Linen, Birch
Original set of 4 chairs model 611 designed by Alvar Aalto in 1929 for Artek, Finland. The seat and backrest formed by interweaved bands of black linen and the linear frame made of b...
Pair of Model 45 Armchairs by Alvar Aalto for A...
Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs
Linen, Rattan, Birch
Set of two armchairs model 45 designed by Alvar Aalto in 1947 and made by Artek. This pair of chairs has been reupholstered with new, black linen webbing. The armrests are tightly wo...
Half Moon Sideboard by Alvar Aalto
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Sideboards
Birch
Incredibly beautiful half moon sideboard, designed by Alvar Aalto. From the private collection of Dr Kossdorf, labelled on the back, Finmar. Manufactured in 1935-1936, a rare and hig...
Set of Eight Alvar Aalto 615 Chairs for Artek, ...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1970s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Chairs
Birch, Upholstery
A set of eight Alvar Aalto 615 chairs with birch frames and flax webbing. Chair has a birchwood frame and high-quality 2" webbing in flax. New webbing can be ordered if desired and i...
Alvar Aalto, Early Golden Bell Ceiling Lamp, Mo...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Mid-20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Brass
ALVAR AALTO early Golden Bell ceiling lamp, model A330 Valaistustyö Ky for Artek Oy, Finland, early 1950s. Brass. Height 23 cm, diameter 18 cm. Variable drop. Alvar Aalt...
Alvar Aalto Early Edition Cantilevered Armchair...
Alvar Aalto, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs
Zebra Hide, Birch, Plywood
Early edition cantilevered armchair by Alvar Aalto (Finland, 1898-1976), Model no. 34/402 Designed in 1933. Manufactured by Oy Huonekalu- ja Rakennustyötehdas Ab (Turku, Finlan...
Paavo Tynell Alvar Aalto, Rare Golden Bell Pend...
Alvar Aalto, Paavo Tynell, Taito Oy
Vintage 1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Brass
Very rare perforated brass pendant light by Paavo Tynell and Alvar Aalto. Model shape is based on Aalto's iconic golden bell pendant, designed in 1937 Manufactured mid-1940s by Pa...
Two Pair of Alvar Aalto Vintage Fan Leg Nesting...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1970s Finnish Mid-Century Modern End Tables
Set of four tables which can be stacked.
Gorgeous Alvar Aalto Tea Trolley Bar Cart Mid-C...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1970s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Carts and Bar Carts
Ceramic, Birch
Gorgeous vintage Alvar Aalto Tea trolley in very nice original condition. Tea Trolley 900 features a natural lacquer birch frame with white ceramic tiles, white wheels and rattan bas...
Alvar Aalto, Early Floor Lights A808
Valaistustyö, Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Floor Lamps
Brass
ALVAR AALTO - SCANDINAVIAN MODERN. A magnificent pair of Alvar Aalto standard lamps model A808, designed for the national pensions institute, Helsinki, 1952. Manufactured by Valai...
High Chair K65 'Set of 4' by Alvar Aalto from A...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Stools
Birch, Leather
Originally designed in 1935, this set of four original production version High Chair K65 have been well-loved for years. Acquired through the Artek 2nd Cycle program and recently fea...
Alvar Aalto A110 'Hand Grenade' Black Pendant L...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Brass
Alvar Aalto A110 'Hand Grenade' black pendant light for Artek. Produced by its original manufacturer, Artek of Finland. Executed in black painted metal and ring with white painted in...
Alvar Aalto A331 'Beehive' Pendant Light for Ar...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
21st Century and Contemporary Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers an...
Brass
Alvar Aalto A331 'Beehive' pendant light for Artek in white and brass. Designed in 1953 and produced by its original manufacturer, Artek of Finland. Executed in white painted metal a...
Alvar Aalto Tripod Stool 60 in Birch and Black ...
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Vintage 1970s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Stools
Tripod stool 60 by Finnish designer Alvar Aalto and manufactured by Artek Finland. Birch wood and black laminate, circa 1970. Good condition, sturdy with a heavy patina. No stru...
Alvar Aalto Side Table 915 Set
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Vintage 1930s Finnish Minimalist Side Tables
Birch, Plywood
Simple, elegant, timeless Finnish side tables which can be used beside a sofa or used as a bedside tables. Hard-wearing white lacquered pressed birch plywood shelves with upturne...
Pair of Leather Ribbed Upholstery Reclining Lou...
Alvar Aalto
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs
Leather, Oak
Pair of Mid-Century Modern bentwood rails ribbed upholstery super comfortable great looking leather lounge recliners.
Alvar Aalto Cased White Glass Centerpiece Bowl
Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century Finnish Modern Decorative Bowls
Glass
A rare Alvar Aalto organic model #9767 glass dish. Aalto designed the decorative centerpiece for the Karhula Glassworks in Finland. The bowl is stamped Alvar Aalto to the underside. ...
Early Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp, Model a 810, Vala...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Mid-20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Floor Lamps
Metal
Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp, Model A 810, "Double Angel Wing" Valaistustyö Ky for Artek Oy, Finland, circa 1950s. Brass, leather, painted metal, leather covered iron base. Height 16...
Early Alvar Aalto Pendant Light, Model A110, 1950s
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Metal
Pendant light by architect Alvar Aalto, Model A110. Rare version of the model with a solid brass shade. Finland, circa 1950s. Early production, manufactured by Valaistustyö K...
Alvar Aalto Sculptural Brass Door Handles
Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century European Mid-Century Modern Architectural Elements
Brass
A collection of eight sculptural Alvar Aalto door handles. The handles are designed in the 1950s and made of solid brass. They are in excellent condition with patina.
Set of Six Alvar Aalto #46 Armchairs by Artek
Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century Finnish International Style Chairs
Birch
A set of six armchairs in Baltic birch, grey leather and rattan. Original manufacturers (Artek) finish. Only one previous owner.
Alvar Aalto Model A805 Angel Wing Floor Lamp
Alvar Aalto, Valaisinpaja Oy
20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Floor Lamps
Metal
Late 20th century floor lamp Angel Wing, model A805, originally designed by Alvar Aalto in 1954 and later manufactured by Valaisinpaja Oy, Finland. White louvered metal shade. Shaft ...
Alvar Aalto Tank Chair for Artek
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Armchairs
Fabric, Birch
Alvar Aalto tank chair for artek in new fabric with birch bentwood arms refinished .
Early Tank Chair by Alvar Aalto for Artek
Alvar Aalto, Artek
Mid-20th Century Finnish Scandinavian Modern Lounge Chairs
Cowhide, Plywood
Early Tank chair with birch arms and spring construction seat and back. Reupholstered in cowhide. Made by Artek. This chair was produced between 1940 and 1955.
Wooden Art Deco Lounge Chairs in the Style of R...
Alvar Aalto, Robert Mallet-Stevens
Vintage 1930s European Art Deco Lounge Chairs
Wood
Four wooden Art Deco lounge chairs in the style of Robert Mallet Stevens, circa 1930.
Alvar Aalto Dining Table for Artek, circa 1960
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1960s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Dining Room Tables
Wood
Dining table designed by Alvar Aalto, circa 1960. Manufactured by Artek (Finland). Wood legs and structure. In great original condition, with minor wear consistent with age and ...
Alva Alato Desk Writing Table Red Lacquer Table...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Modern Desks and Writing Tables
Birch, Bentwood
Very early desk, writing table by Alva Aalto, circa 1930, red lacquer tabletop, birch, bentwood, table size 182 cm x 90 cm x 72 cm.
Early Alvar Aalto, Floor Lamp, Model A808, by V...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Floor Lamps
Metal
Alvar Aalto floor lamp, Model A808, an early version, Finland, 1950s. Manufactured by Valaistustyö Ky, Finland. Model originally designed the National Pensions Institute. ...
Early Alvar Aalto Pair of Side Tables, circa 1940s
Alvar Aalto, Artek, Huonekalu-Ja Rakennustyötedas Oy
Vintage 1940s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Side Tables
Birch, Plywood
Early pair of side tables with drawers by Alvar Aalto, original condition. Finland, circa 1940s. Manufactured by Oy Huonekalu- ja Rakennustyötehdas Ab (Turku, Finland) for Artek...
Early Alvar Aalto Floor Lamp, Model A805 for Va...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Floor Lamps
Brass, Leather
Alvar Aalto Floor lamp A805. Valaistustyö Ky. Finland, 1954 White painted metal, brass, tubular brass and black leather-wrapped metal. Stem impressed with Valaistustyö A 805. Mea...
Rare Birch Small Club Table by Alvar Aalto
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1930s Finnish Side Tables
Birch
Lovely rare Carelian birch veneered three legged small club-table. Designed in 1933.
Wooden Foldable Screen or Divider, Probably Sca...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1960s Scandinavian Mid-Century Modern Screens and Room Dividers
Wood
Elegant wooden divider. The divider can be set in several positions and even 'rolled up' (picture #9). It is in good condition but has traces of use, like some scratches and some tin...
Pair of Early Alvar Aalto Design Model 62 Chairs
Alvar Aalto
Mid-20th Century Swedish Mid-Century Modern Chairs
Bentwood
This is a pair of signed Aalto design, made in Sweden, 62 chairs. These feature the thick heavy legs with detailed laminated construction at the bends as pictured. These are pre Arte...
Alvar Aalto Pair of Angel's Wing "A805" Floor L...
Alvar Aalto, Valaistustyö
Vintage 1950s Finnish Scandinavian Modern Floor Lamps
Metal
Set of two floor lamp, model A805 'Angel Wing', in metal, leather and brass, by Alvar Aalto for Valaistustyo¨, Finland, 1954. Pair of early Angel's Wing floor lamps by Alvar Aalt...
Alvar Aalto for Valaistustyo, 1952, Pendant Lam...
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1950s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Alvar Aalto pendant lamp designed 1952 for Valaistustyo, the original maker of this lamp . This example stamped into the framework "A335 Valaistustyo". Enamelled shade in original bl...
Alvar Aalto Stool for Artek, circa 1960
Alvar Aalto
Vintage 1960s Finnish Mid-Century Modern Stools
Leather, Wood
Stool designed by Alvar Aalto, circa 1960. Manufactured by Artek (Finland). New leather top, wood legs and structure. In great original condition, with minor wear consistent wit...
1970s Cotton and Ceiling Lamp by Hans-Agne Jako...
Alvar Aalto, Poul Henningsen, Hans-Agne Jakobsson
Vintage 1970s Swedish Mid-Century Modern Chandeliers and Pendants
Brass, Cotton
White cotton shade on brass stem, ceiling lamp by Hans-Agne Jakobsson, Sweden, 1973. Very elegant ceiling lamp designed by famous Swedish Hans-Agne Jakobsson. The three-armed chan...
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