Searching for art styles fitting within the “Mid-Century” mold usually means seeking out styles from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. The early 1970s may also be considered within the mid-century modern art styles. These specific art styles may be seen through the homes, the furniture, and the decor.
One of the most common characteristics of mid-century modern art includes combining function into the art. For example, the Eames Lounge Chair, designed by Charles and Ray Eames and first sold in 1956, offers a very comfortable choice but provides an aesthetic appeal not often found in a lounger.
Any type of art labeled at mid-century modern comes with a certain distinctive quality. Whether it’s a painting, a sculpture, furniture, or even a mid-century modern home, the style contains something not found in any other era. Here’s a look at some of the types of mid-century modern art styles found today.
Actual art created during the mid-century modern era tends to vary greatly. Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol both fit within this category, yet the pieces they created are rather different. Pop art is a popular art style labeled as “mid-century modern” with the most famous being the Campbell’s Soup cans from Warhol.
While pop art has its place in the mid-century modern era, so do abstract expressionism. Pollack offered unique works of art, along with other mid-century painters falling into the abstract expressionism category.
Just as the paintings from the mid-century period vary widely in style, so do the sculptures. Some may argue some of the mid-century modern furniture could be included in the sculpture category. However, the actual sculptures coming from this era of design include the works of Harry Bertoia and many others. Bertoia was also well-known for several furniture designs from the mid-century period.
Combining incredible design, function, and aesthetic appeal, the furniture designed throughout the mid-century modern period is still very popular today. In fact, many furniture manufacturers have pieces they sell today that embrace the principle design elements of the mid-century period. Reproductions are very popular, but nothing beats an original piece.
Several famous furniture designers made their mark within the mid-century modern era including Florence Knoll, Harry Bertoia, Charles and Ray Eames, Eileen Gray, and many others. Of course, the Eames Lounge Chairs are an iconic piece from this era, along with the Florence Knoll Sofa.
Mid-Century Modern Homes
The best representation of mid-century modern art styles may be found in the homes still in existence today. Some have been renovated or remodeled, but many remain true to their original aesthetic.
Homes from incredible architects, such as Rudolph M. Schindler, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many others have become historic landmarks. These architects designed both ranch and split-level homes with low-pitched hip roofs and materials local to the geographic area. Many of the homes include walls of windows with linear window designs and double hung windows.
Mid-century modern art styles are still so popular today many home buyers, collectors, and art enthusiasts seek out original pieces and reproductions. It’s even possible to find a newer home paying homage to some of the design elements of mid-century modern homes. Of course, discerning home buyers seek out the original mid-century modern homes because of the incredible design combining incredible functionality and design.