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Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

The designers of Scandinavian modernism created the warmest and most human iteration of modernist ideals. Their work was founded on centuries-old beliefs in both quality craftsmanship and the ideal that beauty should enhance even the humblest accessories of daily life. The gentle, organic contours that are typical of vintage Scandinavian modern furniture appear in the work of Danish, Finnish and Swedish designers not as a stylistic gesture, but rather as a practical, ergonomic — and, as importantly, elegant — response to the human form.

Each nation produced exceptional talents in all areas of the applied arts, yet each had its forté. Sweden was home to Bruno Mathsson, creator of the classic Grasshopper chair, but the country excelled most notably at ceramics. In the ’20s at the great Gustavsberg porcelain manufactory, Wilhelm Kåge introduced Scandinavian modern pieces based on influences from folklore to Cubism; his skills were passed on to his versatile and inspired pupils Berndt Friberg and Stig Lindberg.

Likewise, Finland produced a truly ingenious Scandinavian modern furniture designer in the architect Alvar Aalto, a master at melding function and artistic form in works like the Paimio chair. Yet Finnish glassware was pre-eminent, crafted in expressive, sculptural designs by Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarapaneva.

The Danes excelled at chairs. Hans Wegner and Arne Jacobsen were exemplars of the country’s facility with wood, particularly teak. Wegner created such iconic pieces as the Round chair and the Wishbone chair; Jacobsen — while he produced the best-selling plywood Ant chair — designed two classic upholstered pieces of the 1950s: the Swan chair and Egg chair. The list of great Danes could go on and on, including Finn Juhl, maker of the bold Chieftain chair; Poul Kjaerholm, with his lean metal-and-rattan aesthetic; and Vernor Panton, who introduced a vibrant Pop note into international design.

On 1stDibs, you will note both instantly recognizable Scandinavian modern designs — those that have earned iconic status over time — and many new discoveries. Even more than 50 years on from their heyday, the prolific, ever-evolving Scandinavian modernists continue to amaze and delight.

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Wall Panel Designed by Tapio Wirkkala, Finland, 1950s
Located in Stockholm, SE
Veneer wood relief. Note: Only one panel is currently available. It is the panel to the far right in the first image. Measures: H 125 cm/ 4' 1 1/2" W 63 cm/ 2' 1 1/8" each panel.
Category

1950s Finnish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wood

Marta Maas-Fjetterström Framed Wall Tapestry
Located in Copenhagen, DK
A beautiful woven textile in tapestry technique by Marta Maas-Fjetterström. Framed in oak and double glass (sandwich) so that the wall colour shows next to the tapestry. Signed AB...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wool

"The Bird Nest I" Abstract Expressionist Collage by Peter Astrom
Located in New York, NY
Peter Astrom abstract expressionist paper collage entitled "The Bird Nest #1. Crafted with Japanese rice paper on Arche paper. Created in 1990 in the artist's Water Street studio in...
Category

Late 20th Century American Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paper

Bjørn Wiinblad Unique Wall Decorations / Candle Sconces in Hand Painted Faience
Located in Odense, DK
Faience wall plaques decorated in polychrome colors. Unique artworks made by Bjørn Wiinblad in his own studio in 1976. The pieces are made in the style of old shaving dishes and the ...
Category

1970s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Faience

1960s Large Hand Painted Enameled Copper Wall Mirror by Danish Artist Bodil Eje
Located in Knebel, DK
1960s large hand painted enameled copper wall mirror made by Danish Artist Bodil Eje The richly colorful and patterned mirror stamped by Bodil Eje is in good condition with only few...
Category

1960s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Copper, Enamel

Märta Måås-Fjetterström, Decorative Wall Tapestry
Located in Copenhagen, DK
Marta Maas-Fjetterström, woven textile, tapestry technique. Framed in double glass, so that you can see the wall colour against the tapestry. Signed AB MMF. (AB Märta Måås-Fje...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wool

1960s Scandinavian String Artwork on Jute Canvas
Located in High Point, NC
This artwork was made in Scandinavia, circa 1960, and plays with the qualities of jute to depict a dreamy underwater scene. The threads of the jute are layered, sewn together, and se...
Category

1960s Scandinavian Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Jute

Late 20th Century Wall Art "Placenta" by Danish Artist John Olsen, Juli, 1991
Located in Odense, DK
Decorative wall art by Danish artist John Olsen. Work is called "placenta", a session of 11 pieces. This is nr. 3. 1-11 available. "Planceta" was presented at an exhibition in Mi...
Category

1990s Danish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Cast Stone

Late 20th Century Wall Art "Placenta" by Danish Artist John Olsen, Juli 1991
Located in Odense, DK
Decorative wall art by Danish artist John Olsen. Work is called "placenta", a session of 11 pieces. This is nr. 6. 1-11 available. "Planceta" was presented at an exhibition in Mi...
Category

1990s Danish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Cast Stone

Late 20th Century Wall Art "Placenta" by Danish Artist John Olsen, Juli, 1991
Located in Odense, DK
Decorative wall art by Danish artist John Olsen. Work is called "placenta", a session of 11 pieces. This is nr. 2. "Planceta" was presented at an exhibition in Milano. John Ols...
Category

1990s Danish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Cast Stone

Late 20th Century Wall Art "placenta" by Danish Artist John Olsen, Juli 1991
Located in Odense, DK
Decorative wall art by Danish artist John Olsen. Work is called "placenta", a session of 11 pieces. This is nr. 1. "Planceta" was presented at an exhibition in Milano. John Ols...
Category

1990s Danish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Cast Stone

Britt-Louise Sundell for Gustavsberg, Wall Plaque with Fish, 1960's
Located in Copenhagen, Denmark
Britt-Louise Sundell (1928-2011) for Gustavsberg. Wall plaque in glazed stoneware with fish in relief. 1960s. Measure: Diameter: 29 cm. In excellent condition. Stamped.
Category

1960s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Stoneware

Pair of Ceramic Blue Flower Wall Plaque by Irma Yourstone for Upsala Ekeby
Located in Barcelona, ES
A pair of glazed ceramic flower wall plaques, made by ceramist Irma Yourstone for Upsala Ekeby, Sweden, 1970s.
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Ceramic Wall Plaque by Ester Wallin for Upsala Ekeby, Sweden, 1960s
Located in Barcelona, ES
Glazed ceramic wall plaque, made by Ester Wallin for Upsala Ekeby in the end of 1960s. Depicting a middle eastern male character in sharply defined face profile, possibly Lawrence of...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Birger Kaipiainen, Arabia Finland Hanging Art Platter with Decoration, 1950s
Located in Copenhagen, DK
Spectacular Royal blue "Florence" Fine art wall plate by acclaimed Finnish ceramic artist Birger Kaipiainen (1915-1988) for Arabia Finland. Designed and manufactured in the 1950s. Re...
Category

1950s Finnish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic, Earthenware, Faience

Bjørn Wiinblad, Huge, Unique Candleholder Wall Plaque, Dated 1995
Located in Copenhagen, Denmark
Bjørn Wiinblad (1918-2006). Huge, unique candleholder wall plaque with six light arms made of blue glazed ceramic tiles. Hand painted with young couple and flowers surrounded by geo...
Category

1990s Danish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Bjørn Wiinblad (1918-2006). Huge, octagonal, unique candle holder wall plaque.
Located in Copenhagen, Denmark
Bjørn Wiinblad (1918-2006). Huge octagonal unique candle holder wall plaque with three light arms made of blue glazed ceramic tiles. Hand-painted with a woman and flowers surrounded...
Category

1970s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Framed Object by Rune Hagberg, Sweden, 1970s
Located in Stockholm, SE
Framed object by Rune Hagberg, Sweden, 1970s. Mixed-media. Measures: H 77 cm/ 2' 6 ¾” W 52 cm/ 20 ½” D 8 cm/ 3 3/8”.
Category

1970s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paper

Scandinavian Wall Decoration
Located in South Charleston, WV
Unique screen print on burlap, framed with wood stretchers. Measures: 48" tall and 36" wide. Likely 1960s production and possibly imported through Raymor, however it is unmarked. Ass...
Category

Mid-20th Century Swedish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Burlap

Michael Andersen, Denmark, Large Wall Plaque in Glazed Ceramics with a Couple
Located in Copenhagen, Denmark
Michael Andersen, Denmark. Large wall plaque in glazed ceramics with a young couple. Beautiful crackled glaze, 1950s. Measures: 43 x 14.5 cm. In very good condition. Stamped.
Category

1950s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Wall-Mounted Clay and Ceramic Still-Life Relief by Graveren, Norway, 1950s
Located in Barcelona, ES
Wall-mounted clay and ceramic still-life relief fabricated at Graveren Sandnes (1852-1994) in Norway. Clean lines and soft colored glazing contrasting to the raw textured burnt clay.
Category

Mid-20th Century Norwegian Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Clay, Ceramic

Swedish Abstract Enamel Painting Attributed to Stig Ghylfe, 1950s-1960s
Located in Stockholm, SE
Abstract enamel painting made by an unknown Swedish artist. Attributed to the Swedish artist Stig Ghylfe, circa 1950s-1960s. Very good vintage condition with light age related wear a...
Category

1950s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Metal, Enamel

12 Decorative Month Wall Plaques by Bjorn Wiinblad for Nymolle, Denmark, 1970s
Located in Esbjerg, DK
A complete set of 12 beautiful black and white wall plates, designed by Bjorn Wiinblad for Nymolle, Denmark, 1970s. Each of these plaques stands for a month and is displaying the cha...
Category

1970s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

1960s Hand Painted Enameled Copper Wall Composition by Danish Artist Bodil Eje
Located in Knebel, DK
1960s hand painted enameled copper wall composition by Danish artist Bodil Eje The composition is made of a richly colorfull and patterned hand paintet enameled copper plate with Bo...
Category

1960s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Copper, Enamel

Painting by Mogens Andersen, Denmark, 1954
Located in Stockholm, SE
Painting by Mogens Andersen, Denmark, 1954. Mixed-media with collage. Measures: H 102 cm/ 40" W 46 cm/ 18".
Category

1950s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paper

Wall Sculpture in Metal by Henrik Horst, Denmark, 1970s
Located in The Hague, NL
This brutalist wall sculpture was designed and manufactured by the Danish artist Henrik Horst, circa 1970s. Bronze sculpture on a wooden panel with burlap. Framed. Hendrik Hors...
Category

1970s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Metal

Early Wall Relief by Michael Schilkin for Arabia, 1938
Located in Dallas, TX
Glazed stoneware and chamotte wall relief "Girl with a Ceramic Pot". Stamped signature, Schilkin Arabia Suomi Finland and dated 1938. Some damage to edges, cracking from firing on th...
Category

1920s Finnish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Stoneware

12 Month Wall Plaques by Bjorn Wiinblad
Located in Esbjerg, DK
A complete set of 12 beautiful black and gold wall plates, designed by Bjorn Wiinblad for Nymolle Denmark, 1970s. Each of these plaques represents a month. They display the charm...
Category

1970s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

12 Month Wall Plaques by Bjorn Wiinblad
Located in Esbjerg, DK
A complete set of 12 beautiful red and white wall plates, designed by Bjorn Wiinblad for Nymolle Denmark, 1970s. Each of these plaques represents a month. They display the charmi...
Category

1970s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

1960s Finnish Cast Iron Plaque by Michael Schilikin for Arabia
Located in Sagaponack, NY
A cast iron plaque, "See no evil, hear no evil, say no evil". Signed.
Category

1960s Finnish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Iron

1950s Scandinavian Modern Ceramic Wall Decoration
Located in Sagaponack, NY
Ceramic wall decoration comprised of various sized ceramic shapes strung together with thin black wire each with a matte finish orange to black glaze. The three largest and irregular...
Category

1950s Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Ceramic

Danish Midcentury Wall Decoration with Tiles by Royal Copenhagen, 1960s
Located in Lejre, DK
Relief with frame in brass and decorated with tiles by Royal Copenhagen. Designed and made by Royal Copenhagen. Great original condition.
Category

1960s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Brass

Mid-Century Modern Scandinavian Wall Tapestry from the 1960s
Located in Vordingborg, DK
Mid-Century Modern Scandinavian wall tapestry Handmade by the Danish artist Mette Birckner in the late 1960s Very good vintage condition only slight traces of use Materials: Woo...
Category

1960s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Wool, Linen

Wall Placque Design by Carl Einar Borgström, Sweden, 1930s
Located in Stockholm, SE
Bronze. Measures: H 16 cm/ 6 1/4''.   
Category

1930s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Bronze

Sign designed by Jan Svenungsson, Sweden, 1988
Located in Stockholm, SE
Copper. Unique. Measures: H 50 cm/ 19 3/4" W 35 cm/ 13 3/4".   
Category

1980s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Copper

Ivy Lysdal, Danish Ceramist and Painter, Unique Wall Relief in Ceramics
Located in Copenhagen, Denmark
Ivy Lysdal, b. 1937. Danish ceramist and painter. Unique wall relief in ceramics from 1972. Abstract motif. Plate measures: 26 x 23 cm. Relief measures: 20 x 16 cm. In very good c...
Category

1970s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Ivy Lysdal, b. 1937, Danish Ceramist and Painter, Unique Wall Relief in Ceramics
Located in Copenhagen, Denmark
Ivy Lysdal, b. 1937. Danish ceramist and painter. Unique wall relief in ceramics from 1972. Abstract motif. Plate measures: 26 x 23 cm. Relief measures: 20 x 16 cm. In very good c...
Category

1970s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Beck & Jung, Multiple, Signed Holger Bäckström and Bo Ljungberg, 1969
Located in DE
An original multiple by Swedish Designers Beck & Jung (Holger Bäckström & Bo Ljungberg). Colored cardboard, yellow wooden frame. Signed Holger Bäckström and Bo Ljungberg 1969.
Category

1960s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paper

Serigraph from 1968 by Lars-Gunnar Nordström
Located in Malmo, SE
Serigraph by Lars-Gunnar Nordström.
Category

1960s Finnish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Beck & Jung, Relief, Unique, Signed Holger Bäckström and Bo Ljungberg, 1970s
Located in DE
A unique original relief by Swedish Designers Beck & Jung (Holger Bäckström & Bo Ljungberg). Colored cardboard, aluminium frame. Signed Holger Bäckström and Bo Ljungberg on verso.
Category

1970s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Paper

Set of Nine Hand-Painted Faience Dinner Plates by Stig Lindberg
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This set of faience dinner plates (nine altogether, though only eight appear in the group photograph) was created by Stig Lindberg in the late 1940s to celebrate the various regions ...
Category

1940s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Earthenware, Faience

"Comedia" Textile by Stig Lindberg
Located in Los Angeles, CA
"Comedia", an extremely rare handmade silkscreen-printed linen textile, was designed in the late 1950s by Stig Lindberg for the prestigious Swedish NK department store. Lindberg's di...
Category

1950s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Linen

Hand-Painted Paper Collage Attributed to Sven Markelius for Illums Bolighus
Located in Dallas, TX
From an important Dallas Texas estate. This artwork is an assemblage of countless hand cut and painted paper triangles arranged to create a captivating geometric depth of field. ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Danish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

1950s Lithograph by Pierre Olofsson
Located in Stockholm, SE
1950s lithograph by Swedish painter and sculptor Pierre Olofsson. Multichrome composition in Olofsson signature style. Signed in pen with name and numbered 142/260. Very good conditi...
Category

1950s Svalbard and Jan Mayen Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Glass, Wood, Paint, Paper

Watercolour in Beautiful Colours by Annette Olsen, 1994
Located in Lejre, DK
Watercolour in beautiful colours signed AO by the Danish artist Annette Olesen in 1994.
Category

1990s Danish Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Watercolor

Tapio Wirkkala, Rhythmic Plywood, Wall Panel, 1958
Located in DE
Tapio Wirkkala wall panel, rhythmic plywood. Laminated birch, circa 1958. Manufactured by Asko, Lahti, Finland.
Category

1950s Finnish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Birch

Four-Panel Danish Solid Walnut Room Divider
Located in Antwerp, BE
Beautiful walnut four-panel screen, room divider, framing with intricately carved geometric design medallions in wood and negative space. 1 medallion is missing!
Category

1950s Danish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Walnut

Colorful Vintage Swedish Wall Hanging
Located in Atlanta, GA
Vivid wall hanging from 1960's Sweden of forest on tomato red/orange red ground. Silk screened on burlap. "Old New Stock" from a department store in Sweden that went out of busines...
Category

1960s Swedish Vintage Scandinavian Modern Decorative Art

Materials

Fabric