Which Mid-Century Modern Wall Art Is Best?

Mid-century modern seems to be all the rage today. This American design movement is known for its beautiful, simple furniture designs. And many love it for the way it blends contemporary aesthetics with natural woods and subtle colors. Now that major furniture retailers have revamped their stock to meet this persistent trend over the past decade, almost everyone will have a touch of mid-century modern in their home. Yet, for such an understated interior design theme, it can be difficult to find wall decor that matches its contemplative and peaceful vibe.

From paintings and photographs to sculptural wall art, there are plenty of clever ways to tie together a mid-century modern room. The top pick is the SIGNLEADER Abstract Wall Art, Shapes and Lines Framed Canvas Print in Black, but depending on your taste, you’ll want to consider all options.

What to Know Before Buying Mid-Century Modern Wall Art

What is mid-century modernity?

Mid-century modern is a design movement coined by cultural critic Cara Greenberg in her 1984 book “Mid-century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s”. She used the term to describe furniture from the 1950s, but now encompasses all furniture produced between 1933 and 1965. Contemporary furniture is often inspired by this period.

Mid-Century Modern design is known for blending natural woods, especially teak, rosewood, and oak, with glass, metal, tufted upholstery, and rich leathers. You probably already know mid-century modern just from popular designs from names like Eames, Herman Miller and Knoll.

Pair wall art with mid-century modern decor

Mid-Century Modern style is a design scheme that is somewhat difficult to style on the surface. This is because historically, there is no equivalent mid-century modern art movement. But if you know which artistic aesthetics are compatible with it, you will have no trouble decorating your home. This is aided by the number of designers now making mid-century modern wall decor.

You’ll want to err on the side of minimalism, decorating mostly with prints and patterns. If you opt for sculpture, objects that emphasize lines and movement or smooth, organic shapes are ideal. The abstract expressionism of or inspired by the mid-century art movement also pairs well with mid-century modernism.

What to Look for in Quality Mid-Century Modern Wall Art

Types of Mid-Century Wall Art

Most of the paintings you will be able to find will be prints on paper or wrapped on canvas. Look for high-resolution prints that capture the texture of paint in abstract works or preserve the richness of flat color in patterned graphic art.

Sculptural wall art can be fun playing with marbles (black, white), glass, metal (bronze, copper and gold) and ceramics.

As for the photographs, they can be tricky as the subjects depicted can clash with the hushed vibe of mid-century modern. Go for photographs with that film-like pastel quality or a black-and-white photograph. Mid-20th century modernism lifestyle photographs or modernist architecture photographs also work well.

Color

Mid-Century Modern is generally understated in its palette with natural colors and desaturated accents. You’ll want palettes that revolve around darker blues; burnt oranges; ochres; forest and jade greens; pastel reds and coffee and camel browns. More vivid, the primary colors are reserved for key pieces.

Choose colors that play off these basic palettes when styling mid-century wall art. You can use art as a centerpiece, opting for bright, saturated secondary colors such as purple, orange, or even red. Gold accents and brass accents on black or white marble or ceramic carvings give that subtle touch of luxury.

Frames

You will also want to think about how you hang the job. The natural wood frames are a bonus as they blend perfectly with that teak media console or the molded plywood of your lounge chair. You can’t go wrong with black either. But black can be a bit overbearing, so you might want to add some black metal elements to your home. Pair a black frame with the black metal legs of a coffee table, for example, so the frame doesn’t overpower the natural woods.

How Much You Can Expect to Spend on Mid-Century Modern Wall Art

Paintings and prints will cost around $50 to $150. Photographs can be a bit more affordable and are available in sets for as low as $20 and up to $80. The carving depends on the material but can easily exceed $80.

Mid-Century Modern Wall Art FAQs

Should I stick to patterns and abstract paintings for mid-century modern wall art?

A. Definitely not. If you want more figurative art in your mid-century modern home, consider color. Impressionism, for example, lends itself quite well to mid-century modern decor. You can also think of light. A Renaissance painting might be a bit too dramatic, but paintings that don’t include a lot of black or overpowering dark colors can work well with the tranquil mood of mid-century modernism.

How do I hang my wall art?

A. It all depends on whether you are hanging a framed work or a sculpture. In any case, you will need a hammer and nails. When hanging heavy art in either scenario, be sure to use a stud finder to locate a stud in your wall or a beam in your ceiling. If the desired hanging location doesn’t have a stud, use anchors so the art doesn’t fall off.

What is the best mid-century modern wall art to buy?

Top mid century modern wall art

SIGNLEADER Framed Canvas Print Abstract Wall Art, Shapes and Lines in Black

SIGNLEADER Framed Canvas Print Abstract Wall Art, Shapes and Lines in Black

What do you want to know: This set of modern-inspired graphic prints is a must-have for the mid-century modern home.

What you will love: You get three beautiful minimalist prints available in two sizes: 16 by 24 inches and 24 by 36 inches. They come in a beautiful natural wood color frame. Prints are rendered in black on an off-white background and a touch of gray helps soften the intensity of the black. The frames are deep and the prints stretched over canvas fade away for a substantial look. These can be hung together in a row or around a room to suit your design theme and come complete with mounting hardware.

What you should consider: The frames are actually plastic and not real wood.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Top mid century modern wall art for the money

Whaline Set of 6 Abstract Line Art Posters Minimalist Wall Art

Whaline Set of 6 Abstract Line Art Posters Minimalist Wall Art

What do you want to know: A great option for interior designers on a budget, this set of minimalist prints will look great in your first home, apartment, or dorm.

What you will love: You get six prints with a cohesive palette of earthy warm pinks, oranges, and browns. Floral and line art designs work perfectly with mid-century modern details. Each poster measures 9.72 x 13.82 inches. Posters are coated to be waterproof and tear resistant.

What you should consider: These are not framed.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

NWT Off White Marble Granite Framed Wall Prints Set

NWT Off White Marble Granite Framed Wall Prints Set

What do you want to know: These three beautiful marble prints bring material texture to your mid-century modern home.

What you will love: Featuring off-whites and cool blues, all three prints are cast in fade-resistant archival ink. Their natural wood-coloured frames blend beautifully with teak, oak and rosewood. You can also opt for black frames for a more modern interior decoration. Each of the three prints measures 16 by 24 inches or 24 by 36 inches.

What you should consider: Some users have found that the packaging of these prints may be damaged during shipping.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

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Karl Daum writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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