Today, more than ever, the modern style of the mid century modern dining chairs
can be reflected. If you are dining
in a modern restaurant tonight, you will most likely sit in a chair designed in the 1950s-whether it is Eames, Bertoia, Cherner, or Saarinen. At the same time, enter the words "mid-century" and "modern" in the search pane of any furniture retailer, and you may find dozens of works marked with these design buzzwords.
"Midcentury modern" itself is a difficult term to define. It broadly describes the architecture
, and graphic design of the mid-20th century (approximately 1933 to 1965, although some believe that the period was limited to 1947 to 1957). The time frame is a modification of the larger modernist movement, which originated in the industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century and the post-World War I period.
Mid-century dining chairs were designed with form and function in mind. So they make it easier to entertain guests and get the little ones to eat up. And, most importantly, they’re even great for relaxing in with a glass of wine after a long week. Today we are going to talk about 9 of the most iconic mid-century modern chairs that continue to be adored today.
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1. JH 501 ROUND Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs by Hans Wegner
JH 501 ROUND CHAIR is probably one the most iconic pieces of Hans Wegner. The chair was made of a sculpted wooden frame and woven cane seat and it was his reinterpretation of a classic Asian chair.
Hans Jørgensen Wegner, a Danish furniture designer. His work, along with a concerted effort from several of his manufacturers, contributed to the international popularity of mid-century Danish design.
2. The Eames Fiberglass Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs by Charles and Ray Eames
Charles Eames, Jr. (1907-1978) and Ray Eames (1913-1988) met in 1940 while studying at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. They began working collaboratively soon thereafter, favoring practical and modern designs, and also developed a working relationship with Eero Saarinen, a Finnish-American architect known for his neo-futurist style.
The Eames Fiberglass Chair hit the market in 1950 and 1951 and, like the Eames Molded Plywood Chair, was a huge success. The seat is composed of a singular fiberglass sheet molded to hold the sitter in a sturdy yet cradled fit. Eames Fiberglass Chairs are available in a variety of popular 1950s colors – Elephant Hide Grey, Parchment, Greige (a combination of grey and beige), Orange Red, Sea Foam Green, and Lemon Yellow – and in different models.
3. Cesca Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs by Marcel Breuer
The Cesca chair is an icon of modern furniture design. This chair was designed in 1928, making it the first tube steel framed style of seat that could be pass produced.
Traditionally, there are no arms on this chair, though you can get them with arms. The back is low and at a slight angle for ergonomic support.
Designed by Marcel Breuer in Germany and named after his daughter Francesca, the chair offers a fun bounce and appears to “float” a sitting person on air. It comes in a natural wood color and a black framed version.
4. Wishbone Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs by Hans Wegner
The Wishbone chair, also known as the CH24 chair or Y chair, has a woven rope seat and bent wooden armrests. The name for this chair is because of the wishbone-shaped backrest. It was designed by Hans Wegner in 1949. The graceful shape of the wishbone chair is inspired by east Asian design and modernist ideals.
The Wishbone Chair is perhaps Hans Wegner's most celebrated work. A light, attractive and comfortable dining chair with the characteristic Y-shaped back. The chair is a triumph of craftsmanship with a simple design and clean lines.
5. THE PANTON Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs by Verner Panton
In 1960, Verner Panton designed the revolutionary Panton chair. Although the cantilevered chair (in the shape of an S) already existed in 1926, Verner Panton had the astonishing idea of manufacturing it in moulded plastic, once again proving its innovative character by presenting an original monobloc piece. He also wanted the chair to be easily stackable and comfortable.
A Mid-Century Modern icon, the Panton chair has enjoyed – since its creation – continuous success while undergoing regular technical changes. It was only in 1999 that the chair was finally produced as Verner Panton wanted it, with a matt finish that makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Verner Panton (13 February 1926 – 5 September 1998) is considered one of Denmark's most influential 20th-century furniture and interior designers. During his career, he created innovative and futuristic designs in a variety of materials, especially plastics, and in vibrant and exotic colors. His style was very "1960s" but regained popularity at the end of the 20th century.
6. Bertoia Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs by Harry Bertoia
Bertoia Chair by Harry Bertoia also called the Diamond chair, is among the most recognized achievements of mid-century modern design, is an open form and metal style chair which is inspired by sculptures. The chair is a diamond wire seat and a back with bent steel leg frames. There can be a seat made out of a different material or just the continuation of the grid wire. It’s ergonomic for sure, but if you’re looking for premium comfort, include a cushion.
Harry Bertoia was an Italian-born American artist best known for his sculptures, jewelry, and furniture design. Born on March 10, 1915 in San Lorenzo, Italy, Bertoia moved with his older brother to Detroit at age 15 where he enrolled in Cass Technical High School. He would later attend the nearby Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he notably studied with Walter Gropius. He worked for the Evans Product Company and then the design firm Knoll, and by the 1950s was able to devote himself exclusively to art.
7. Tulip Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs by Eero Saarinen
The 1956 design — which is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York — was one of Saarinen’s last; he died in 1961. Its sculptural shape displays the best of Saarinen, who referred to himself as a “form giver,” whether that form was a flower-shaped seat or the swooping curve of the Gateway Arch, a more than 600-foot-tall stainless-steel-clad concrete monument in St. Louis, Missouri, that he designed in the late 1940s.
This chair was included in the Pedestal Collection of Eero Saarinen because of the single-leg underneath the base of the seat. Tulip chairs typically swivel with an aluminum base and molded fiberglass shell. The tulip chair is most often white with an accent color for the seat cushion. The curved lines can make this chair feel space-age and futuristic.
8. Wassily Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs by Marcel Breuer
First a student then a teacher at the Bauhaus, Marcel Breuer designed many innovative pieces. His Wassily chair is the most iconic.
Hungarian-American architect Marcel Breuer was known for his innovative furniture design and use of tubular steel. Though he created many pieces of furniture in his time, the Wassily chair is his most iconic piece.
The chair was designed in 1925, inspired by a bicycle frame. It is made of curving tubes of steel and leather slings that create a seat that is ergonomic and comfortable, yet still highly sculptural and minimal in form.
The form of the chair was inspired by an Adler bicycle. Breuer liked the look of the tubular frame, and wanted to use the cycle’s system to recreate the classic club chair, reducing it to its purest form.
With its uniquely exposed structure, the chair came to represent how the modern design style could be applied to everyday objects.
9. Jeanneret Mid Century Modern Dining Chairs
“Chandigarh” armchair is a block-style chair made of wood and cane with a flat seat base and v-shaped supports. The back and base of the seat are braided cane material. Pierre Jeanneret is a Swiss Furniture designer who became famous for a teak wood chair he designed in Chandigarh, India.
While overshadowed by his famous cousin and work partner Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, widely known as Le Corbusier, the work of Pierre has begun to receive the accolade it deserves.
Jeanneret cousins reunited in 1950 around a project to design the city of Chandigarh, India. During this time, he produced the chair he is most famous for: a teak wood chair with V-shaped legs, cane seating and backing, and wood armrests.