"Mid-century modern" itself is a difficult concept to define. It encompasses mainly architecture, furniture and graphic design from the mid-20th century (roughly 1933 to 1965, although some would argue that the period is specifically limited to 1947 to 1957). 

The term was used as early as the mid-1950s and was defined as a design movement by Cara Greenberg in her 1984 book Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 50s.

It is now recognized by scholars and institutions around the world as a significant design movement. The MCM design aesthetic is modern in style and construction, in keeping with the modernist movement of the time. It is characterized by clean, simple lines and honest use of materials. As a rule, it contains no decorative elements.

Mid-Century Modern was an American reflection of the International and Bauhaus movements, which included works by Gropius, Florence Knoll, Le Corbusier, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Although somewhat more organic and less formal in form than the International style, American work of the postwar period is firmly associated with it.

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