7 Modern Marvels of Mid-Century Design

Lot 104, Chandelier by Emil Stejnar, Palm Beach Modern Auctions (February 20, 2016)

Call it the “Mad Men” effect: Modern design has never been more in-demand. Looking to add some sleek modern flair to your home? Our editors have chosen 7 works from renowned makers of the 20th century – from Scandinavia to America and beyond.

Whimsy and innovation collide in Frank Gehry’s “Power Play” chair – inspired by the structure of wooden apple crates that Gehry played with as a child.

Lot 243, Power Play chair and ottoman by Frank Gehry, Wright (February 25, 2016)

Charles and Ray Eames’ classic DAR chair is always in demand (and two is always better than one).

Lot 1050, Pair of DAR chairs by Charles and Ray Eames, Balclis (February 24, 2016)

Artist Enrico Castellani’s sublime amalgamation of repetitive form and monochromatic color creates a meditative piece to complement a modern aesthetic.

Lot 100, Molded plastic work by Enrico Castellani, 1968, Wright (February 25, 2016)

Eero Saarinen’s ‘Tulip’ table presents a pop of color to offer a bright and sunny place to gather with family and friends.

Lot 1059, Tulip table and chairs by Eero Saarinen, 1960, Balclis (February 24, 2016)

Talk about “halo effect”: Poul Henningsen’s layered lighting concepts offer a pared-down glow.

Lot 1055, Pair of PH5 lights by Poul Henningsen, Balclis (February 24, 2016)

Industrial engineer Marc Newson’s innovative “Embryo Chair” – made of neoprene, the same material used to make wetsuits.

Lot 214, Embryo chair by Marc Newson, Wright (February 25, 2016)


Inspired by forms found in the natural world, designs by mid-century Italian ceramicist Axel Salto offset the spare composition of modern furniture. Placed atop a Josef Frank cabinet? Perfetto.

Lot 77, Vase by Axel Salto, Piasa (February 17, 2016)

Looking for more design inspiration? Explore the full collection now.