9 Pieces of Midcentury Modern Art You Need in Your House Stat

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So, you've mastered the midcentury modern look: Your credenza is expertly set with teak trays and design tomes; your bar cart sits at the ready, stocked to the brim with brown liquor and plenty of gleaming highball glasses to accommodate any guests who might drop by for a dram; your sleek, low couch is dotted invitingly with plush tufted throw pillows. But one thing is missing: Wall art.

It can be easy to overlook those blank walls when attempting to achieve aesthetic time travel since the main furniture pieces tend to dictate the look of the space (and determine how well you've achieved your MCM throwback goals). But engaging, personal wall art is what sets your home apart from a West Elm catalog or storeroom at the Mad Men backlot. Luckily, the midcentury look's heyday is far from over, so it's still easy to source wall art to complete your home's retro-chic appeal. From downloadable Etsy prints that will set you back less than a Starbucks run, to spendy artist pieces that will take your cocktail hour to the next level, here are the midcentury-inspired art pieces we're drooling over right now.

1. Color & Form

Honestly, everything from Block Shop is so swoonworthy it was tough to narrow it down to just one print ... but we think this super-saturated trio of circles in shades of pink strikes just the right midcentury notes.

Get the look: Block Shop Textiles Framed Sultan Woodblock Print, $600

2. Please Touch

Super-touchable textile art + on-trend ochre hues = an instant contender for our favorite piece of midcentury-inspired artwork, all framed up and ready to elevate your bar area (or bedroom, or entryway, or ...).

Get the look: West Elm Pieced Fabric Wall Art, $249

3. Scandi Set

A little Marimekko, a little Peter Max, this triptych of brightly colored prints breathes instant graphic excitement into your midcentury living space.

Get the look: Nordic Design House Prints, from $15

4. Cat's Meow

Abstract style felines were everywhere in 1960s wall art. Trade a tamer housecat for something a bit more on-trend in this decade — fierce lions or leopards — to update the iconic look.

Get the look: MyDreamWall Downloadable Tiger Print, $10

5. Orange Crush

In perfectly retro orange and creamsicle hues, this abstract print by Christopher Bettig lends instant art school appeal to any corner of the home.

Get the look: Arranged Shapes 2 Print by Christopher Bettig, $199

6. Time Warp

No midcentury abode is complete without a funky-over-functional wall clock, right? This atomic-inspired style looks great intermingled with a gallery wall of similarly artful shapes.

Get the look: Joybird Veron Clock, $229

7. Mile High

Ah, the golden age of air travel. Quirky prints by it-photographer Gray Malin whisk us away to another time when heading to the airport was a high-fashion affair and in-flight cocktails were just as exotic as each new destination.

Get the look: Gray Malin Bon Voyage Series, from $249

8. Black and White and Mod All Over

Even if your color palette is minimalist, there's no reason to forgo maximalist art. Pop a high-contrast piece like this behind your dowel-leg sofa for a lot of added oomph.

Get the look: Jonathan Adler Paule Marrot Black and White Abstract 2, $3,245

9. Mobile Plan

Real question: why did we ever stop decorating with mobiles? We love this cool, Calder-esque piece in MCM-approved brass tones — picture gazing at it dreamily while enjoying your morning coffee.

Get the look: Urban Outfitters Verena Geo Mobile, $34


Emily Bihl is a freelance writer and sometimes-songwriter who can invariably be found rearranging furniture in a domicile somewhere along the Mississippi River. She lives with her black labrador Selkie and a small army of homemade ceramics, and has not willingly closed a browser tab since 2011.

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