Mid-Century Modern Pieces

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Archive | Iconic Midcentury

Iconic Midcentury Modern Designers – Florence Knoll

Knoll Sofa Florence Knoll Background: A Cranbrook graduate and protégé of Eero Saarinen and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll is best known for the eponymous company she founded with her first husband, Hans, which produced some of the period’s most famous furniture designs (and still does). Iconic Piece: The Knoll Sofa, a streamlined couch with metal […]

Iconic Midcentury Modern Designers – George Nelson

George Nelson Background: Known for his playful aesthetic, American designer George Nelson applied his creativity to many types of furnishings, creating everything from clocks and lamps to the first modular storage unit. Iconic Piece: The Bubble Lamp, a series of white ribbed plastic lamps in futuristic shapes. View our selection of George Nelson replicas

Iconic Midcentury Modern Designers – Le Corbusier

Le Corbusier LC-4 Chaise Lounge Le Corbusier Background: Born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, the Swiss architect better known as Le Corbusier was an early Modernist pioneer. He’s known for both his stark architecture (which appears in cities throughout the world) and his signature tubular steel furniture. Iconic Piece: The LC-4 Chaise Lounger, which appears to float above its frame. […]

Iconic Midcentury Modern Designers – Marcel Breuer

Breur Cesca Chair Marcel Breuer Marcel Breuer was a member of the influential Bauhaus school founded by Walter Gropius, the Hungarian-born Breuer eventually followed his mentor to Harvard before striking out on his own to design a large collection of buildings, along with furniture. Iconic Piece: The Cesca Chair, a cantilevered chair made with steel tubes (Breuer […]

Iconic Midcentury Modern Designers – Harry Bertoia

Bertoia Diamond Chair Harry Bertoia Background: A student and then a teacher at Michigan’s Cranbrook Academy of Art (a proving ground for many well-known Modernist designers), Bertoia specialized in scupture, and later got into jewelry making (he designed Charles and Ray Eames wedding rings during WWII!) before moving on to industrial design and going to work for […]

Iconic Midcentury Modern Designers – Charles & Ray Eames

Eames Molded Fiberglass Armchair Charles & Ray Eames Background: This California-based husband-and-wife duo (also Cranbrook alums) spread their creativity far and wide, creating everything from molded plywood and fiberglass seating to colorful Modernist houses to art films. Iconic Piece: The Molded Fiberglass Armchair, designed for Herman Miller. It’s still being produced today in many configurations (including rockers […]

Iconic Midcentury Modern Designers – Arne Jacobsen

Jacobsen Egg Chair Arne Jacobsen Background: Danish architect Jacobsen collaborated with several of the era’s creative talents (including lighting designer Louis Poulsen and the Eamses) to create furniture for his buildings; many of these pieces became famous in their own right. Iconic Piece: The Egg Chair, a curved lounge chair initially created for the SAS Royal Hotel […]

Iconic Midcentury Modern Designers – Eero Saarinen

Saarinen Womb Chair Eero Saarinen Background: The son of Cranbrook founder Eliel Saarinen, Eero spent most of his life in the U.S., designing such notable structures as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the TWA Terminal at New York’s JFK Airport. Iconic Piece: The Womb Chair, an upholstered armchair with a frame sculpted from a single […]

Iconic Midcentury Modern Designers – Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe

Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe Background: One of the most celebrated Modernist designers and architects, Mies van der Rohe’s contributions are vast. After succeeding Walter Gropius as director of the Bauhaus, Mies emigrated from Germany to the U.S., where he designed such legendary structures as the Farnsworth House outside Chicago […]