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International Decorative Art

Modern, c. 1931–c. 1970

The key to recognizing Modern design is its rounded, organic, biomorphic, natural shapes. Modern came in gradually, as Art Deco was running its course. The Paimio Lounge Chair by Alvar Aalto (1930–1931) dates the beginning of Modern design as the first chair widely known to curve to the human body. Other landmarks of Modern design are the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen (1957–1958), the Marshmallow Sofa by Irving Harper of George Nelson Associates (1956), American Modern tableware by Russel Wright (1937–1938), the Studebaker car by Raymond Loewy (1950), the TWA terminal at JFK airport by Eero Saarinen (1956–1962), the Potato Chip Chair by Charles and Ray Eames (1945), the Panton plastic stacking chair by Verner Panton (the first functional one-piece plastic [polyurethane] chair, designed 1960, produced 1968), Compact (later Hellerware) plastic stacking tableware by Massimo Vignelli (1964) and later additional designs by Massimo and his wife, Lella.