Eames Chairs

Eames Chairs

Seating Classics by Mid-Century Designers Ray & Charles Eames: The market for mid-century furnishings and accessories is still hot, and among the hottest are chairs by husband and wife team, Ray and Charles Eames. Collectors love the clean lines of these classic designs, many of which are being manufactured today. Here’s what it will cost to own both new and vintage models.

Ray & Charles & the Eames Era Few [...] Click here to continue reading.


Aalto, Alvar – Finnish Architect & Furniture Designer

Alvar Aalto (Finnish, 1898-1976)

Arguably Finland’s most famous architect, Alvar Aalto was undoubtedly a major influence on the design as well as the technology that led to Mid-Century classics.

Alvar Aalto Brief Biography Aalto (1898-1976) studied architecture at the Helsinki Polytechnic from 1916-1921, opening his first architectural office in 1923. By 1929, he was designing interiors and their accessories, including furniture, textiles, glass, and lighting. His fifty year career spanned all the stages of [...] Click here to continue reading.


Kimbel & Cabus

Kimbel & Cabus, Victorian Cabinetmakers

When Anthony Kimbel and Joseph Cabus formed their partnership in 1863, they were both experienced veterans of the highly competitive furniture manufacturing business in New York, which included Herter Brothers, Alexander Roux and Pottier & Stymus.

Kimbel had been a designer in partnership with Anthony Bembe in the 1850′s when the company made the furniture for the United States House of Representatives (see examples in the p4A reference database). [...] Click here to continue reading.


Grisaille – definition

Grisaille

Grisaille, from the French word gris meaning grey, is a term used to describe works of art painted entirely in a monochromatic palette. Technically speaking, there are other terms that apply when the monochromatic palette used is of a different color (brunaille for brown, verdaille for green, for instance), but grisaille is often misused to cover all monochrome works, regardless of hue. There are also plenty of works that are considered grisaille that [...] Click here to continue reading.


Nelson, George – Designer – Herman Miller Co.

George Nelson (1908-1986)

George Nelson trained as an architect before joining the Herman Miller (furniture) Co. and becoming its design director for the 1950′s and 60′s. From this position Nelson became one of the most influential modernist designer’s in mid-century America.

Among Nelson’s furniture designs to have become 20th century design classics are the “Marshmellow” sofa (1956), the Ball Clock (1949), the “Slat Bench”, the “Sling Sofa” (1960′s), his “Bubble” and “Cigar” lamps (1952) [...] Click here to continue reading.


Arne Jacobsen Modernist Chairs

Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971)

Jacobsen’s iconic chairs defined an era and remain popular with collectors more than half a century after their introduction.

These days, chairs by Arne Jacobsen are some of the most eagerly sought after by collectors of Mid-Century Modern. Jacobsen’s iconic chairs include the Drop Chair, the Ant Chair and the Swan Chair, but his Egg Chair is by far the most well-known.

Arne Jacobsen Brief Biography Born in Copenhagen in 1902, [...] Click here to continue reading.


John Ritto Penniman (1782 to 1841)

John Ritto Penniman (1782 to 1841)

Born in Boston, John Ritto Penniman came from a talented family—his father was a physician and entrepreneur, and his ten siblings include booksellers, an artist and inventor, and a teacher. Penniman trained as an ornamental painter in Roxbury, Massachusetts, which was, at the time, a community of artisans, including clock and furniture makers. Some of his early work was as a dial painter for noted clockmakers Aaron and [...] Click here to continue reading.


Bakelite

Bakelite

Scandal & the Story of Bakelite Bakelite hit the market in 1907, heralding the arrival of the modern plastics industry. Bakelite was the first completely man made plastic, as until then, plastics such as celluloid, casein, and Gutta-Percha all had as a base a natural material. It was developed by Belgian-born chemist Dr. Leo Hendrick Baekeland who started his firm General Bakelite Company to produce the phenolic resin type plastic. Bakelite was inexpensive [...] Click here to continue reading.


Finn Juhl – Furniture Designer

Finn Juhl (1912-1989)

Finn Juhl & His Chieftain Chair Danish architect Finn Juhl brought his own aesthetic to Scandinavian Mid-Century Modern furniture, especially his ethnic inspired sculptural seating still popular today. The Chieftain Chair is Juhl’s best known but by no means his only Mid-Century Modern design classic.

Finn Juhl a Brief Biography Juhl was born in 1912 in Frederiksberg (part of Greater Copenhagen). His authoritarian father was a textile wholesaler representing a [...] Click here to continue reading.


The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

Derived from the Greek sarx, meaning flesh, and phagein, meaning eat, a sarcophagus is, essentially, a container for a body, much like a coffin or casket. Historically, sarcophagi were typically made of stone (though sometimes of other materials, such as wood or metal), with a relief-carved or pediment top, and designed to be above ground, and have been used by many cultures since ancient times.

An ancient [...] Click here to continue reading.


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