Posts tagged Mid Century Modern Furniture Chicago IL


"In art, one does not aim for simplicity. One achieves it unintentionally as one gets closer to the real meaning of things." -Constantin Brancusi

Isamu Noguchi’s iconic coffee table is comprised of two pieces of solid wood, interlocking into each other to form a tripod base for the glass above. Constantin Brancusi’s influence is apparent in this work, through Noguchi’s time as Brancusi’s apprentice, with the use of organic shapes and assemblage. This sculptural design has proven the test of time through its unity of harmony, balance, and durability.


Edward Wormley was a longtime director of the Dunbar furniture company, and brought modern design into midcentury residential homes. He had a deep appreciation for traditional design and impeccable craftsmanship. The Pyramid Floating Bookcase can be utilized against a wall or floating in a room to add more dimensionality to put your collection of books and objects on display.


Untitled beautifully captures an instantaneous moment and invites the viewer to be immersed in Miyake’s brushstrokes. The artist’s trust in his impulsive decisions is definite, bringing concrete yet fluid motions to the surface. Read Japanese artist Shinnosuke Miyake’s bio and view his other works here.

How Chicago, Mies van der Rohe’s Adopted Home, Remembers the Architect

The Windy City's Matthew Rachman Gallery takes a deep dive into the designer's practice.

by Thomas Connors | April 28, 2019

1stdibs: Introspective Magazine


Less is more,” that inescapable quote attributed to Mies van der Rohe, has long been modernism’s tagline. But when it comes to this year’s observances of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, where Mies was the final director, more is more. Two new museums are opening in Germany dedicated to the history and legacy of the forward-looking art and design institution. And special exhibitions are popping up from São Paolo to Tel Aviv that shine a spotlight on its faculty and students, who broke the barriers between artist and artisan, articulated a new partnership of form and function and reshaped the built environment. Of particular note is “Mies van der Rohe: Chicago Blues and Beyond,” running through July 21 at the Matthew Rachman Gallery in Chicago, where the designer settled after leaving Germany.

The Nazis closed the Bauhaus in 1933, but Mies soldiered on in Berlin for another five years before emigrating to the U.S., where, in 1938, he became director of the school of architecture at Chicago’s Armour Institute, now the Illinois Institute of Technology, or IIT. From this academic perch, he profoundly influenced the course of architectural practice internationally. And from his own drafting table, he changed the look of his adopted city, completing such now-iconic projects as the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive apartment towers, the Chicago Federal Center and One IBM Plaza, as well as the IIT campus.

The show includes a  Barcelona chair  with a prototype cushion that Mies designed for his towers at 860–880 Lake Shore Drive. The chair, as well as never-before-seen ephemera, is on loan from T. Paul Young, an architect who worked in Mies’s studio.

The show includes a Barcelona chair with a prototype cushion that Mies designed for his towers at 860–880 Lake Shore Drive. The chair, as well as never-before-seen ephemera, is on loan from T. Paul Young, an architect who worked in Mies’s studio.

Rachman — who last year mounted a show of works by Charlotte Perriand focused on Les Arcs, the ski resort she designed in the French Alps — has previously hosted two benefits in support of Mies’s Farnsworth House. (The “Chicago Blues and Beyond” opening, with architect Dirk Lohan, Mies’s grandson, on hand, was also a fundraiser for the Farnsworth House, which has been a house museum owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation since 2003.) With the Bauhaus anniversary approaching, he decided to build an exhibition around a cache of the designer’s blueprints he acquired several years ago. Now for sale, the blueprints are actual working documents used by junior and senior architects in Mies’s office. Some have never before been seen publicly.

A dozen clipboards hold working documents and correspondence related to the studio’s projects.

A dozen clipboards hold working documents and correspondence related to the studio’s projects.

Among the plans, examples of which measure as large as 48 by 32 inches, is one for the Barcelona chair, done for the Wells Furniture Company, which manufactured the piece in the 1930s before Knoll began production. There are also drawings for architectural projects, including One Charles Center and the Highfield House condominium, both in Baltimore; 111 E. Wacker Drive, in Chicago, now home to the Chicago Architecture Center; and IIT’s Crown Hall, whose massive, column-free span epitomizes Mies’s embrace of utterly adaptable, universal space. It was built to house the Department of Architecture and Institute of Design.

These projects represented a leap forward in the architect’s career, an opportunity to build at a scale he had only imagined before the war. Advances in technology, access to materials and the willingness of American developers and corporations to get on board with modern design propelled him to a period of great creativity and success.

Rachman has taken a contextual approach to his installation of the blueprints on offer, interspersing the display with furniture and ephemera, much of it on loan from architect T. Paul Young, who at 17 became an office boy in Mies’s firm. “I’d pick up his cigars at Dunhill, organize files, things like that,” recalls Young, who advanced through the ranks to work on structures like the unrealized Mansion House Square, in London (his last project at the firm). “The office had a studio atmosphere, and there were long racks of blueprints of all of Mies’s projects. All the architects in the office would use those as reference. If they were designing louvers or a curtain-wall detail, they would be able to look at other buildings to see what was done and make it even better.”

Mies used these textile samples when designing the interiors of the Arts Club of Chicago in the early 1950s.

Mies used these textile samples when designing the interiors of the Arts Club of Chicago in the early 1950s.

Among the materials from Young’s archive in the show are fabric swatches from the Farnsworth House and Mies’s sole interior-only project, the Arts Club of Chicago (razed in 1995); a rare bronze-frame version of the Brno chair manufactured by Brueton; a sales brochure for the 860-880 residences (“Mutual Ownership Offering Stability at the Lowest Possible Cost”); construction documents; and images produced by Hedrich-Blessing Photographers, the renowned architectural photography firm founded in Chicago in 1929. In addition, Rachman has on display and for sale two key pieces of furniture: an MR chaise longue, circa 1970, reupholstered in Brazilian cowhide but retaining the original strapping; and a Barcelona couch.  “We want people to see the different materials Mies used and to better understand these pieces — which they have seen many times in various settings — within the bigger picture of Mies’s work,” says Rachman.

Although later, less artful interpretations of the architect’s aesthetic contributed to the perception of modernism as manipulative and soulless (a critique initially applied to the master’s own work), he remains a giant in the history of the built environment, a man whose philosophy is, perhaps, as significant as the structures he designed. “In 1939, Mies gave a lecture to students in which he discussed designing a house,” notes Young, who serves as executive director of the Bauhaus Chicago Foundation. “He said that coming to the house, the front door, was the most important thing to consider. And as he concluded, he said, ‘The house is really the shell, and the life lived therein, is the bloom.’ And that was true whether he was designing a home or an office building or Crown Hall. He was setting a stage for living.”

Read the full article here.

Connors, Thomas. “How Chicago, Mies Van Der Rohe's Adopted Home, Remembers the Architect.” 1stdibs Introspective, 28 Apr. 2019,



This cantilever sofa by Milo Baughman, produced in the 1960s, has been freshly reupholstered with a plush poly blend that catches light in its weave. Contrasting soft, rounded edges with its clean-edged chrome, this design combines the organic shapes of contemporary furniture with MCM rectilinearity.


Azure has an entrancing washed blue background that underscores the sharp lines of its collaged paper. These thin lines that appear hand drawn, reveal themselves to be meticulously cut from strands of paper. Their craft gives them a wavering width and kinked bends that so well articulate Segal’s sensibility. Rigid like wire and sharp like the edges of tape, Segal places these lines to activate the borders of her paintings. Shadowy polygons hover beneath the artwork’s monochromatic background to highlight the negative space left by the foreground’s lines.


Curtis Jeré, known for producing elegant brass and glass sculptures under Artisan House, made some of the most iconic wall pieces of the 60s & 70s. This mirror comes from one of Jeré’s most recognizable series: Raindrops. Characterized by its emphasis on circularity and reflection, Raindrops possess warm patinas and luminescent form.



The first work you see when you walk through the door is this still photograph from Battle Royale by Katya Bankowsky with Michele Lamy. This provides a perfect entryway into the world of this show. Click the image to read more about the show, On Guard.


Reupholstered in rich mohair, these Bronze Platner Lounge Chairs add a little bit of playful elegance to your interior. Their slim, curvy profile with a wide seat means they are as comfortable as they are stylish.


William Eckhardt Kohler’s saturated and harmonious landscapes are comprised of relaxed, brushy paint and remarkable color. Resting his composition on the edges of the frame, Kohler lends an air of romanticism to the hollowed out building in the foreground. With perspective that nods to Cubism and colors reminiscent of the Fauves, William Eckhardt Kohler produces luminescent work well aware of its predecessors, yet altogether new.



Kate McCarthy’s playful canvases stitch bright hues and soft contours into everyday scenes. Mixing acrylic paint and thread, the artist organizes a harmony of texture and chroma.



This Vladimir Kagan sofa has been freshly reupholstered with a forest green mohair fabric to compliment its rich walnut pedestal legs. The sofa’s fluid shapes possess a refined delicacy that only Kagan can offer.


Breaking form down into rhythm and pattern, while working quickly to capture light, Slater Sousley manages to achieve a vibrant serenity in his paintings. The way something emerges from the background of foliage questions how one technically and mentally renders an image. Painted against the setting sun, in the woods that Sousley knows from his childhood, the works reveal themselves as a merger of plein air painting and recitations of his past.