Mid-century Modern describes an era of style and design that began roughly in the mid-1940s and continued into the mid-1960s. It is an organic offshoot of Modern design that’s often associated with the casual furnishings and carefree look of Eichler tract homes in suburban California during the 1950s.
In addition, the Mid-century Modern era is noted for the mass-production of household objects, from furniture to clocks to lamps to radios, because many of its chief designers (Charles and Ray Eames foremost among them) made it a requirement that their work be affordable to the average homeowner rather than the wealthy elite.
The United States, Britain, Japan, and Scandinavia were centers for the Mid Century Modern aesthetic. In the U.S., Herman Miller produced plywood, fiberglass, and wire-mesh chairs for Charles and Ray Eames (the metal chairs with covers designed by Alexander Girard are highly collectible), as well as the famous Marshmallow sofas for George Nelson. Knoll made insect-like wire chairs for Harry Bertoia and cool, white-and-red fiberglass-and-aluminum Tulip chairs for Eero Saarinen.
In England, Ernest Race produced handsome sideboards and economical folding deck chairs in the Mid-century Modern style. Fellow Brit Robin Day worked with Hille Ltd. to create everything from convertible beds to tables and chairs. He is also credited with designing the first polypropylene stacking chair.
Japanese designer and sculptor Isamu Noguchi, a giant of Mid-century Modern, designed for both Knoll and Herman Miller. His three-piece wood and glass table from 1948 has been a mainstay of the Miller catalog for more than half a century, while the bases on his tables for Knoll used metal rods in a way that was very similar to some of the Eames’s chairs. Japanese-American George Nakashima, who was interred during World War II, designed for Knoll but also brought a woodworker’s sensibility to his furniture, often using the natural and even deformed shapes of his raw materials to lead him.
And then there were the Scandinavians. Børge Mogensen designed chairs of elegant simplicity that harmonized form with functionality, while his Sleigh Chair was as whimsical as its name suggests. Arne Jacobsen’s Swan chair held its users in a palm-like embrace. Finn Juhl took a more sculptural approach for his wood-frame seats — even a Juhl coffee table looks like a work of art. As for Hans Wegner, he made a chair that was so highly regarded it was used by Nixon and Kennedy in a 1960 presidential debate and has since become known simply as The Chair.
Furniture was not the only product of note to come out of the Mid-century Modern movement. For some reason, clocks, especially wall clocks, became a design force to be reckoned with. When George Nelson wasn’t designing furniture for Herman Miller, he was working with the Howard Miller Clock Co. on a series of marvelous modern wall clocks. He made clocks whose hands pointed to colored balls on the ends of slender shafts; clocks that resembled sunbursts, sunflowers, and asterisks; and even a clock that suggested a human eye...
Nelson and Miller were also responsible for the Bubble Lamps, which were made of steel and translucent plastic and were designed to hang from the ceilings of Mid-century Modern homes, either as individual globes, ellipses, and cylinders or in clusters. Other lamps popular during this period, and produced by a wide range of designers and manufacturers, were the pole-tension lamps that lit up corners of livings rooms and the "atomic" boomerang lamp shades designed for table lamps.
Nothing escaped Mid-century Modern, from transistor radios to lava lamps, which had yet to be associated with the psychedelic 1960s still a few years a way. It was perhaps the last time that design drove the look and feel of popular culture. Soon, the roles would be irrevocably reversed.
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Midland's mid-century modern homes create real estate destinationMLive.com, September 1st
Midland's mid-century modern homes create real estate destination. 1 / 22. 515 Hillcrest Road in Midland. Jeff Schrier | Mlive.com The 3963-square-foot home at 515 Hillcrest Road in Midland is listed at $525,000. Jeff Schrier | email@example.com...Read more
Home Tour: A mid-century ranch that's been restored to highlight its classic ...WCPO, August 28th
The brick chimney, four great room windows and front porch feature classic mid-century modern lines, as do two planter boxes that flank the front steps. Metzger chose to replace the porch with slate because it better reflects materials used by mid...Read more
Home & Design Mid-Century Modern's New Gold StandardHoustonia Magazine, August 26th
Mid-Century Modern's New Gold Standard. Fifty years after the release of the original Platner Collection, the famous furnishings are getting a gorgeous, gilded makeover. By; Sarah Rufca; 8/26/2015 at 1:28pm. 21514 knoll 4125478 finalb 1 u9lxfw. The...Read more
Mid-Century Modern by Superdome Architects Asks $1.399MCurbed NOLA (blog), August 25th
An open, light-filled mid-century modern with a wild streak by Curtis & Davis, the architect duo behind the Superdome, has hit the market. Near Audubon Park, the living room has a wall of windows looking out onto the lap pool; a bridge across the pool...Read more
Hot Property: Mid-Century Modern in Midway HollowD Magazine, August 25th
Nestled in the increasingly popular Midway Hollow neighborhood just north of Love Field, this gorgeous mid-century modern-style home at 4016 Lively Lane boasts some seriously sleek features. An abundance of large windows lights up the home's open ...Read more
Free Tours: Mid Century Modern Home to Auction October 20The City Wire, August 23rd
Free Tours: Mid Century Modern Home to Auction October 20. Submitted by Phil Coffman on Sun, 08/23/2015 - 10:17am. Chambers Residence to auction early October. Free tours till auction. Contact: Phil (479) 414-1091, firstname.lastname@example.org, 3200 ...Read more
The most elegant mid-century modern homes you can buy for under $1 millionBusiness Insider, August 23rd
Thanks to the lasting pop culture effect of "Mad Men," mid-century modern homes are having a moment. Typically built between 1945 and the mid '70s, these homes are characterized by their sharp geometric lines, oversize glass windows and sliding doors, ...Read more
A store specializing in mid-century modern furnitureKSDK, August 20th
If you think this store looks cool from Watson Road, step inside to see why interior designers from coast to coast shop here. Momoderne sells high-end, mid-century modern furniture to interior designers and anyone who wants something that stands out...Read more