Mid-Century Marvels | Mingei International Museum
Millard Sheets, Foliage and Butterflies, c. 1965, Designed in U.S.A., woven in France
Image: Millard Sheets, Foliage and Butterflies, c. 1965, Designed in U.S.A., woven in France

Mid-century design is characterized by clean lines and a spirit of experimentation.


This piece is made of sterling silver and 14k gold. The main feature is a female figure.

Secret Chambers

1976 USA

This piece featuring fine and sterling silver and 14k gold has a special compartment in which its wearer can stash lipstick, keys, or other small essentials.

This orange, cheerful chair is made from polyeurethane foam and fiberglass–just like the surfboards Ekstrom produces.


1971 USA

This Carl Ekstrom creation draws inspiration from surfboards.

This is object is abstract enamel on copper wall panel. The design is a checkerboard pattern of abstract designs.

Weather Report #522

c. 1960 USA

Abstract enamel on copper wall panels, such as this one, characterize the later work of San Diego native Ellamarie Woolley.

This wool tapestry was made using traditional French tapestry techniques. It is brightly colored and features butterflies, trees, and plants. In the left corner there is a person sitting down enjoying the natural landscape.

Foliage and Butterflies Tapestry

c. 1965 Designed in USA, woven in France

Designed by Millard Sheets, this tapestry is his only known work featuring butterflies.

This chair is made with molded plywood. It is plain, no designs, and its feet, seat, and back are curved.

LCW (Lounge Chair Wood)

c. 1946 USA

The iconic LCW was the product of an organic furniture competition entry.

This textile is a woven and printed cotton drapery fabric. It includes repeating bands of small triangles in brown, shades of blue, shades of green, yellow, and white.

“Pythagoras” Yardage

20th century Sweden

This woven and printed cotton drapery fabric yardage was designed for and manufactured by Ljungberg Textiles.

Footed Bowl

1971 USA

Known for her precise, controlled and functional wares, Laura Andreson embraced the modernist form-follows-function practice that prized a unity of shape and surface with little trace of the artist’s hand.


1962 San Diego, California

When this chair debuted in New York, it was viewed as radical, strange and something that only a Californian would do.


1969 San Diego, California

A trailblazer both in her aesthetic and techniques, Kay Whitcomb (1921-2015) pushed the boundaries of her craft by developing a new way to create intricate enamels on steel with a single firing.

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Explore folk art, craft, and design from across cultures and time.