Definition: Mid-Century Modern

What does ‘mid-century modern’ mean when applied to design esthetic and antique buying? For newcomers, I thought it might be helpful to provide some definitions to basic design styles and product lingo used when antiquing. So here’s a few things to know:

-Wikipedia defines mid-century modern as “an architectural, interior and product design form that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965.”

-Some famous designers of that time are Charles & Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Russel Wright, Hans Wagner, and Paul McCobb. The list could go on, but all these designers are have pieces that are famous among antique circles.

-Because of the current popularity with mid-century design, many of the above designers have pieces that have been reproduced or licensed for production. Keep this in mind when buying antiques; do you want an authentic piece or a reproduction?

Bertoia Chair
Photo from Wikipedia

Russel Wright dinnerware
Photo from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Eames Lounger
Photo from Wikipedia

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