20th Century Modern Furniture

A few common terms used to describe 20th Century Modern Furniture are often ‘organically-shaped’, ‘clean-lined’, and 'elegantly simple'. The styles, which emerged primarily in the years following World War II, are characterized by pieces that were conceived and made in an energetic, optimistic spirit by creators who believed that good design was an essential part of good living. American architects who were designing in the post-war period were often inspired by new ideas and new technologies. Charles and Ray Eames, for example, eagerly embraced fibre glass for pieces such as the “Womb Chair” and “La Chaise”. George Nelson and his design team also created “Bubble Lamp” shades using a new translucent polymer skin. In addition to rising technologies, the lead ‘functionalist’ style architecture that defined most modern homes during this era also played a part in influencing the design of modern furniture. The American culture began to demand casual, uncluttered furnishings to go inside their open-concept homes that featured long walls of glass. In culmination with the rise of new technologies and the functionalist style architecture, 20th century furniture saw one of the most dramatic instances of creativity in design history.


20th Century Modern Furniture is featured in Edition: The Best of the Met

Ettore Sottsass, "Carlton" Room Divider (1981)
Joe Colombo, "Tube" Chair (1969-70)
Marcel Breuer, "Wassily" Armchair (1925)
Norbert Berghof, Michael Landes, Wolfgang Rang, "Frankfurter Stuhl F III" Armchair, (1985-6)
Shigeru Uchida, "September" Armchair (1973)
Shiro Kuramata, "How High the Moon" Armchair (1986)