November 28, 2023
Stylized shapes, light wood, bold blocks of color and unusual construction are characteristics of modern furniture. This flame rocking chair shows all four.

Furniture functions stay more or less the same, but styles change according to advances in technology, changes in society and the whims of fashion. Even if you’re not familiar with the history of furniture, you can tell that a plain Pilgrim trestle table, an ornately carved Victorian sofa and a Bauhaus tubular steel chair belong to different eras.

This flame rocking chair, which sold for $240 at a Leland Little auction, is unmistakably modern. It was made by contemporary artist Erin Stesch and was auctioned to support an organization that preserves modern residential architecture.

The modern furniture era is generally believed to have begun in the 1940s with the end of World War II and the societal changes and technological developments it brought. Customers wanted inexpensive, functional furniture for smaller living spaces. Companies had new materials to work with and new manufacturing methods. Designers created pieces that were both streamlined and organic, adding visual interest to comfort and practicality.


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