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Mid-Century Modern Books

MID-CENTURY MODERN STYLE

Organically shaped, clean-lined and elegantly simple are three terms that well describe vintage 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. The Risom lounge chair was among the first pieces of furniture commissioned and produced by legendary manufacturer Knoll, a chief influence in the rise of modern design in the United States thanks to the work of Florence Knoll, the pioneering architect and designer who made the firm a leader in its field.

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 chairs, dressers, coffee tables and other furniture on 1stDibs demonstrates, this period saw one of the most delightful and dramatic flowerings of creativity in design history.

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Style: Mid-Century Modern
Beautiful Homes and Gardens in California
Located in New York, NY
Important and lavishly produced survey of postwar California domestic architecture, written by Frank Lloyd Wright-trained California architect Herbert Weisskamp and published by Abra...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

La Ceramica in Italia
Located in New York, NY
Well-edited and lavishly illustrated survey of mid-century Italian ceramics, written by Hugo Blattler and published in Rome in 1958 by Aristide Palombi as part of the Arti Pratiche s...
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1950s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Wrightsman Collection, 1st Ed. signed by Charles and Jane Wrightsman, 1966-1973
Located in San Francisco, CA
The Wrightsman collection, Vols.I-V, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1966-1973. First Edition, hardcovers with dust jackets. Inscribed by the Wrightsmans, incl. a Christ...
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1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge Collection, by Christie's 2009
Located in San Francisco, CA
A collection of historic documents of the greatest, most secret and legendary collections formed by private collectors in the 20th Century. The set of Auction Catalogs also include...
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Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Milo Baughman for Thayer Coggin Portfolio Book
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A very cool catalog showing available Milo Baughman designs for Thayer Coggin as part of the Environment 70 line of furniture. Includes photos of pieces, configurations of sectionals...
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Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Letters of James Agee to Father Flye & Agee's Manuscript Notes
Located in Seguin, TX
Letters of James Agee to Father Flye. New York: George Braziller, 1962. 1st Edition signed and inscribed by Father Flye. Blue cloth binding, dust jacket. Shelf wear, chips and spots ...
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Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Soleri, Paolo. Visionary Cities: the Arcology of Paolo Soleri Hardcover Book
Located in Ferndale, MI
Praeger Publishers Inc., New York, Washington, London. A lively black & white typography rich volume exploring the theories and designs for the cities of the future by architect, urb...
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Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Hand-Painted Pop American Art in Transition 1955-62 Book December 15 1992
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Vintage Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955-62 Paperback Book. December 15, 1992 by Donna De Salvo Paul Schimmel. From Publishers Weekly Ferguson of the Museum of Con...
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Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Collection of 6 Vintage Issues of Masters of World of Architecture, 1960
Located in San Diego, CA
Great collection of 6 issues of Masters of World of Architecture. These issues date back to 1960 and each focuses on a particular architecture icon that is discussed and analyzed wit...
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1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

"Ellsworth Kelly" Art Book by Tricia Y. Paik
Located in San Diego, CA
"Ellsworth Kelly" art book by Tricia Y. Paik, an illustrated celebration of Ellsworth Kelly, who will forever be remembered as one of the most distinctive and influential artists of ...
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21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Softbound Program "The Art of Alexander Calder" Long Beach Museum of Art 1970
Located in San Diego, CA
A nice softbound program from Alexander Calder's 1970 exhibition at the Long Beach Museum of Art in Long Beach, CA from January 11, 1970 to February 8, 1970. The program is in go...
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Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Paper

“The Machine – Museum of Modern Art New York” Book by K.G. Pontus Hulten 1968
Located in San Diego, CA
A very rare and cool book, “The Machine – As Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age'" by K.G. Pontus Hulten for the Museum of Modern Art New York, circa 1968. The book is in its orig...
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Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Aluminum

Bauhaus Book Holders in Grey Lacquered Metal
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Bauhaus metal book holders, manufactured in Germany, circa 1940. In great original condition, with minor wear consistent with age and use, preserving a beautiful patina.
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1940s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Metal

How to Construct Rietveld Furniture Book
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Rietveld Meubels om zelf te maken - How to construct Rietveld Furniture, 1986. First Edition. Published by Academia Bruylant. Book with facsimile reproductions of work-drawings...
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1980s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

19th Century French Newspaper 'Le Petite Jounal', 1897
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
19th century newspaper 'Le Petite Jounal' from France, 1897. In original condition, with minor wear consistent with age and use, preserving a beautiful patina. Materials: Paper Di...
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1890s French Antique Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Serge Mouille: a French Classic
Located in New York, NY
First edition monograph on esteemed French modernist lighting designer Serge Mouille, whose abstract compositions for Steph Simon achieved critical and commercial success, gracing th...
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Early 2000s French Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Behind the Picture Window by Bernard Rudofsky
Located in New York, NY
First edition of Bernard Rudofsky’s idiosyncratic and iconoclastic discussion of modern living conditions in postwar America, published by Oxford University Press in 1955. 201 pages,...
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1950s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Works of Nobuyoshi Araki Book Complete Collection 1-20
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
The works of Nobuyoshi Araki Book collection complete 1-20 published in Japan in 1996 by Heibonsha Limited, Publisher. 20 books complete collection limited edition. Nobuyoshi Araki...
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1990s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, First Edition, 1943
Located in Colorado Springs, CO
Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead. New York: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1943. First edition printing. Octavo. Rebound in modern half red Moroccan leather and marbled boards, with gilt tool...
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1940s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Leather, Paper

Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, First Edition, First Printing, 1943
Located in Colorado Springs, CO
Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1943. First edition, first state. Octavo. Rebound in full Moroccan leather with Rand’s gilt stamped facsimile signature on t...
Category

1940s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Leather, Paper

Softbound Program 1958 Film Francais by Bernard Buffet
Located in San Diego, CA
A very rare "Film Francais" softbound program featuring original artwork from Bernard Buffet, circa 1958. The program is in good vintage condition with no rips or tears and has nine ...
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Mid-20th Century French Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Paper

Ico Parisi Vintage Wood and Brass Swivel Bookcase 'Attr.'
Located in Milano, IT
Beautiful wooden revolving bookcase attributed to the fantastic designer Ico Parisi dating from around the 1960s. The bookcase has a central black painted iron rod that serves as t...
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1960s Italian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Brass, Iron

Le Corbusier Der Modulor Book, 1956
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Le Corbusier Der Modulor book. Le Corbusier published Le Modulor in 1948, followed by Modulor 2 in 1955. These works were first published in English as The Modulor in 1954 and Modulo...
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1970s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Paper

The Yves Saint Laurent - Pierre Bergé Collection. 1st Edition, Christie's, 2009
Located in London, GB
First edition, published by Christie's and Flammarion, 2009. The subtitle of this catalogue, ‘The Sale of the Century’, is no overstatement. This extensive tome presents the cultura...
Category

Early 2000s French Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

René Magritte - Patrick Waldberg - 1st Edition, André De Rache, 1965
By René Magritte
Located in London, GB
First edition, published by André De Rache, Belgium, 1965. Text by Patrick Waldberg. This insightful and excellently illustrated monograph on quintessential surrealist René Magritte...
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1960s Belgian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Mid-Century Made Heavy Bronze Classic Novel Book Shaped Bookends Treasure Island
Located in Lisse, NL
Rare and heavy bronze bookends with Thomas Paine and Robert Louis Stevenson 'books'. With the holiday season on our doorstep we will be offering a number of season related items, ...
Category

Mid-20th Century European Mid-Century Modern Books

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Bronze

Robin & Lucienne Day: Pioneers of Contemporary Design, Jackson, Beazley, 2001
By Robin Day, Lucienne Day
Located in London, GB
First edition, published by Mitchell Beazley, 2001. Text by Lesley Jackson. A beautifully designed and handsomely illustrated celebration of two of Britain’s most revered and acco...
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Early 2000s British Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings Furniture of Classical Greece
Located in New York, NY
"This handsome book records the discovery and contemporary re-creation of Greek furniture designs virtually ignored for more than two thousand years. T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, interna...
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1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Jean Prouvé Serge Mouille Mid-Century Modern Two Master Metal Workers Book
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Edited for the occasion of the May 1985, New York. Exhibition and the fall of 1985 Paris exhibition. Jean Prouvé (8 April 1901-23 March 1984) was a French metal worker, self-taugh...
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1980s German Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Morris Louis by Michael Fried 1st Edition, 1970
Located in London, GB
Published by Harry N. Abrams 1970 The first full length monograph Morris Louis by the critic and art historian Michael Fried how who sites one of the supreme masters of colour in ...
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1970s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Isamu Noguchi Aspects of a Sculptors Practice
Located in London, GB
Isamu Noguchi Aspects of a Sculptors Practice Published by Seagull Books, Sussex England 1991 190pp, b/w photos A survey of Isamu Noguchi practice by celebrated sculptor Tim Thr...
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1990s British Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Jean Cocteau, Poteries, Catalogue Des Ceramiques, 1957-1963 First Edition, 1989
Located in London, GB
First edition. Published by Galerie Laurent Teillet, 1989. A Near Fine copy of the catalogue raisonne´ of Jean Cocteau's ceramic works, a very important reference book. Includes 2...
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1980s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Warhol Retrospective Art Book and Exhibit Programs Moca LA 2002
Located in San Diego, CA
Andy Warhol "Retrospective" art book and programs from his exhibit at the Museum of Contempoary Art in Los Angeles, CA (MOCA LA) from May 25th to August 18th, 2002. The book is in ve...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Frank Lloyd Wright American Architect of the Twentieth Century Book 1st Ed.1993
By (after) Frank Lloyd Wright
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Frank Lloyd Wright American Architect of the Twentieth century 1993. by Robin Langley Sommer. 1st Edition, hardcover book. Frank Lloyd Wright: American Architect for the Twent...
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Late 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Complete Curtain Making Course Vintage Book by Caroline Wreys
Located in Oakland Park, FL
Complete curtain making course Vintage book by Caroline Wreys. Offers detailed instructions for making a variety of window coverings, including pattern ideas, measuring and cutting ...
Category

1990s North American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Moore in America Paperback by the NY Botanical Gardens Jan. 2008
Located in Oakland Park, FL
Moore in America paperback by the Ny Botanical Gardens Jan. 2008 Moore in America Catalogue by the NY Botanical Gardens Jan. 2008 Catalog of an exhibition at the New York Botanical...
Category

Early 2000s North American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Better Homes & Gardens Flower Arranging for Every Day and Special Occasions1957
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Vintage hardcover book, Better Homes & Gardens Flower Arranging: For Every Day and Special Occasions Library Binding – January 1, 1957 Hardcover book by Better Homes and Gardens. Mi...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Paper

The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945 Hardcover Book by Ken Burns
Located in North Hollywood, CA
The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945 Hardcover Book. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. First edition of this companion volume to the doc...
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Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Fashion and Surrealism, 1987
Located in London, GB
Fashion and Surrealism by Richard Martin Published by Rizzoli, New York, 1987 Fashion and Surrealism presents some of the most extravagant and ingenious images ever created in a...
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1980s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Mid 20th Century Original November Girl by Sam Haskins
Located in Miami, FL
Mid 20th century original November Girl by Sam Haskins. Beautiful photography and direction before its time in the mid century.
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1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Paper

Brussels Dream, Le Rêve Bruxellois, Der Brusseler Traum, Expo 1958
Located in Praha, CZ
- EXPO 1958 Exhibition - Publisher: Arbor Vitae, 2008 - Three languages - Original condition, see the photos - 165 pages - Many beautiful pictures of architecture and interior d...
Category

Early 2000s Czech Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Man and Chair 'Furniture Book, Catalogue', 1970 / Czechoslovakia
Located in Praha, CZ
- 1970, Grafia, Brno - czech language - original condition, see the photos - 47 pages - many pictures of seating furniture by Czech designers - jr.
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1970s Czech Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Bohemian Glass, Tradition and Present
Located in Praha, CZ
- 1991 - english language - Publisher: Crystalex and Novy Bor - printed by Graphia tisk - original condition, see the photos - 192 pages - 301 ilustrations ( Šuhájek, Metelák, ...
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Early 2000s Czech Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Paper

Design and Plastics / Plastické Hmoty by Milena Lamarová, 1972
Located in Praha, CZ
- 1972 - UPM Prahg ( The museum of decorative arts) - English and Czech language. - Original condition, see the photos. - 207 pages. - Many beautiful pictures of furniture and i...
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1970s Czech Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Vintage 1968 The Machine: As Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age MOMA Book
By K.G. Pontius Hulten
Located in Seguin, TX
The Machine: As Seen At The End Of The Mechanical Age by K. G. Pontus Hulten. Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1968. Embossed aluminum boards designed by Anders Osterlin after a photo...
Category

1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Aluminum

Chair in the 20th Century 'Furniture Book, Catalogue', 1982 / Czechoslovakia
Located in Praha, CZ
- 1982 - The museum of decorative arts in Prague - Czech language - Original condition, see the photos - 1427 pages - Many pictures of seating furniture by Bruno Mathsson, Verne...
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1980s Czech Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Paper

Louise Bourgeois - the Locus of Memory, Works, 1982-1993
Located in London, GB
Louise Bourgeois - The Locus Of Memory, Works 1982-1993 Published by The Brooklyn Museum/Abrams, 1994 Sculptor Louise Bourgeois is one of the foremost artists of the 20th century...
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1990s American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Mexican Homes of Today
By Verna Cook Shipway
Located in London, GB
Published by Architectural Book Publishing Co, 7th Printing 1987. The extensive plans of six Mexican homes two of which overlook the breathtaking harbour of Acapulco, with a focus...
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1960s American Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Vintage Book Decorating with Flowers Hardcover by Ronaldo Maia
Located in Oakland Park, FL
Decorating With Flowers Hardcover by Ronaldo Maia Publisher ? : ? Harry N Abrams Inc; 1st edition (November 1, 1978) Language ? : ? English Hardcover ? : ? 244 pages Size: 10 x 1...
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1970s Asian Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

L’Ambiente Cucina, 1982
Located in London, GB
L’Ambiente Cucina. Published by Casa Vogue, 1982, first edition. A spectacular reference book of kitchens published by one of the leading tastemakers of the late twentieth century...
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Late 20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Jean Dubuffet, Parade Funebre Pour Charles Estienne, 1967
Located in London, GB
Jean Dubuffet, Parade Funèbre pour Charles Estienne. Published by Editions Jeanne Bucher, 1967. Limited to 450 copies of which this is example 324 of 400 numbered copies. A fin...
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1960s European Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Paper

Le Corbusier Der Modulor Book, 1956
Located in Barcelona, Barcelona
Le Corbusier Der Modulor book. Le Corbusier published Le Modulor in 1948, followed by Modulor 2 in 1955. These works were first published in English as The Modulor in 1954 and Modulo...
Category

1970s French Vintage Mid-Century Modern Books

Materials

Paper

Ten Sen Men, Issey Miyake, 1990
Located in London, GB
Ten sen men - Issey Miyake Published by Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 1990 First edition. A Beautifully photographed and printed catalogue Published in 1990 to ac...
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1990s Japanese Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Vision of Frank Lloyd Wright by Thomas a. Heinz Hardcover Book 1st Edition
Located in North Hollywood, CA
The Vision of Frank Lloyd Wright. by Thomas A. Heinz large heavy hardcover coffee table book. A Complete Guide To The Designs Of An Architectural Genius. Frank Lloyd Wright's caree...
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20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

"Gio Ponti, The Complete Work 1923-1978" hardback book, 1990, Thames and Hudson
Located in London, GB
Thames and Hudson edition , 1990 Written by Gio Ponti's daughter Lisa Licitra, who is also curator of the Gio Ponti archives. The entire photographic archive of Ponti's studio, toget...
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20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Vintage Hardcover Book Madagascar Photographs
Located in Oakland Park, FL
Vintage Hardcover Book Madagascar Photographs Italy, 1994 Published by Taschen in 1997, Gian Paolo Barbieri captures the island of Madagascar in all of its primordial beauty revealin...
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1990s European Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Elisabeth Frink Original Prints, Catalogue Raisonne by Caroline Wiseman, Book
Located in London, GB
A beautiful 1st edition book in beautiful condition. Numerous colour illustrations. Hardcover written by Caroline Wiseman. Published by Art Books International ISBN 10: 187404425...
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20th Century British Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

1st Edition Picasso Ceramics Book 1950
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Pablo Picasso ceramics First edition, published by Albert Skira, Geneva 10 July 1950. 15 (14 inside, 1 on the cover) tipped-in photographs of Picasso ceramics. The prints are cut t...
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Mid-20th Century Swiss Mid-Century Modern Books

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Paper

Jean Dubuffet books for sale on 1stDibs

Jean Dubuffet books are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of paper and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Jean Dubuffet books there are many options to choose from, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are 2 vintage versions of these items in stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of Jean Dubuffet's original books were created in the 1960s in the mid-century modern style in Europe. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider books by and . Jean Dubuffet books can vary in price, size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $830 and tops out at $871, while pieces like these can sell for $850 on average.

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