Repros of 50s Classics Sold by MOMABy

Repros of 50s Classics Sold by MOMA

The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) frequently sells reproductions of a wide variety of classic 1950 products by many famous mid-century designers. Items range from Ray and Charles Eames side chairs to Isamu Noguchi coffee tables.

The biomorphic Noguchi parchment lamp shown here is copied from the 1950 Akari series. It has a facsimile Noguchi signature (arrow); 15″ tall. Retail price $85.00.

The black wire and painted wood ball wall clock is from a 1948-1952 original designed by George Nelson. New version is battery operated; retail $225.

Mid-century objects by important designers have risen in price and attract increasing interest. Regular sales featuring items from this period are now held by major auction houses.

In addition to these high quality reproductions, collectors also have to contend with knockoffs—cheap imitations made at the same time as the originals. Generally, most MOMA items are well marked with the Museum's logo or printed name. It is not uncommon, though, for unethical sellers to remove legitimate markings and then offer an item as original.