They must have gotten something right. Design visionaries such as Charles and Ray Eames, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Eliel and Eero Saarinen, who, among others, defined the midcentury modern aesthetic and with it, the modern chair.
Midcentury modern broadly describes architecture, furniture and design from the mid 1930s to the mid 1960s. It has roots in the Bauhaus movement, counting Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe among its early influencers. With clean, flat lines and organic curves, the furniture is functional while retaining an element of elegance and sophistication. It embodies what Mies van der Rohe famously said, “Less is more.”
“The newly opened The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, designed by Philip Johnson, is a perfect example of how iconic modern designers changed the way we interacted with our environments and paved the way for what we see as contemporary design today,” says Luke Palmer, Modern and 20th Century Decorative Arts Specialist at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. Built in 1949, Johnson’s house has since been turned into a museum and offers tourists the opportunity to experience architecture from 1949 that is minimalist, geometric and proportionate—all themes that define midcentury modern design.