Alvar Aalto 1898–1976

Born in Kuortane, Finland, in 1898, Alvar Aalto began his formal training studying architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology. It was here that he met his future wife and collaborator, Aino Marsio who was also an architectural student in the program. The two were married in 1924. In 1929, Aalto won a competition to design a new sanatorium in Paimio for patients convalescing from tuberculosis; a total Gesamtkunstwerk, Aalto designed everything at Paimio, from the chairs to the sinks, to create a soothing and sanitary environment for the patients. In 1932, Aalto’s architectural drawings were featured in the landmark Modern Architecture: International Exhibition which was curated by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock and included the latest architectural innovations from around the globe. In 1935, Alvar and Aino Aalto, Nils-Gustav Hahl, and Maire Gullichsen formed the design company, Artek. In addition to a focus on practicality, the work of Artek is marked by its use of light-colored woods, organic forms, and biomorphic lines. Though, many of Aalto’s designs were imbued with playful elements like zebra prints and reindeer fur or bright pops of colored paint on the seats of his three-legged stools.

In 1936, Aalto won the Karhula-Iittala Glass Design Competition for the flowing and animated shape of his glass vase design and the following year he was invited to design the Finnish Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Paris. His organic pavilion design won him international acclaim, and it led to a large retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1938. Later in his architectural career, Aalto would take on urban planning with his designs for the city centers of Seinäjoki and Rovaniemi in Finland. Aalto passed away in 1976, but he is renowned for his objects and buildings that combined the modernist style with an outstanding and authentic Finnish aesthetic.

Upcoming Lots Alvar Aalto

ALVAR AALTO, Cantilevered armchairs model 36/401, pair | wright20.com

139

Alvar Aalto

Cantilevered armchairs model 36/401, pair

estimate: $2,000–3,000
ALVAR AALTO, Standard floor lamp, model A810 | wright20.com

141

Alvar Aalto

Standard floor lamp, model A810

estimate: $2,000–3,000
ALVAR AALTO, Pendant lamps, pair | wright20.com

145

Alvar Aalto

Pendant lamps, pair

estimate: $700–900
ALVAR AALTO, H-Leg dining table, model H90 | wright20.com

146

Alvar Aalto

H-Leg dining table, model H90

estimate: $2,000–3,000
ALVAR AALTO, Cabinet | wright20.com

150

Alvar Aalto

Cabinet

estimate: $2,000–3,000
ALVAR AALTO, Early Savoy vase, model 3030 | wright20.com

151

Alvar Aalto

Early Savoy vase, model 3030

estimate: $2,000–3,000
ALVAR AALTO, X-Leg table, model X800A | wright20.com

153

Alvar Aalto

X-Leg table, model X800A

estimate: $1,000–1,500
ALVAR AALTO, Floor lamp, model A808 | wright20.com

154

Alvar Aalto

Floor lamp, model A808

estimate: $2,000–3,000
ALVAR AALTO, L-Leg dining table | wright20.com

155

Alvar Aalto

L-Leg dining table

estimate: $2,000–3,000
ALVAR AALTO, Ceiling lamp | wright20.com

156

Alvar Aalto

Ceiling lamp

estimate: $3,000–5,000
ALVAR AALTO, Pendant lamp, model A 335B | wright20.com

157

Alvar Aalto

Pendant lamp, model A 335B

estimate: $1,500–2,000

Auction Results Alvar Aalto

ALVAR AALTO, Rare high back chair, model 402 | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

Rare high back chair, model 402

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $40,000
ALVAR AALTO, Cantilever dining chairs model #21, set of eight | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

Cantilever dining chairs model #21, set of eight

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $39,600
ALVAR AALTO, Cantilever dining chairs model #21, set of eight | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

Cantilever dining chairs model #21, set of eight

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $34,000
ALVAR AALTO, Beehive ceiling lamp, model A331 | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

Beehive ceiling lamp, model A331

estimate: $9,000–12,000
result: $22,500
ALVAR AALTO, Tank chairs model 37/400, set of three | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

Tank chairs model 37/400, set of three

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $20,000
ALVAR AALTO, floor lamp, model A808 | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

floor lamp, model A808

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $20,000
ALVAR AALTO, Cantilevered armchairs model 34/402, pair | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

Cantilevered armchairs model 34/402, pair

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $17,500
ALVAR AALTO, armchair, model #41 | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

armchair, model #41

estimate: $12,000–15,000
result: $15,600
ALVAR AALTO, an early Paimio Sanatorium lounge chair, model 41 | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

an early Paimio Sanatorium lounge chair, model 41

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $15,210
ALVAR AALTO, Beehive ceiling lamp, model A331 | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

Beehive ceiling lamp, model A331

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $15,000
ALVAR AALTO, shelf, model 111 | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

shelf, model 111

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $13,750
ALVAR AALTO, Model 63 convertible sofa | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

Model 63 convertible sofa

estimate: $6,000–8,000
result: $12,980
ALVAR AALTO, Tank lounge chairs model 37/400, pair | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

Tank lounge chairs model 37/400, pair

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $12,500
ALVAR AALTO, dish, model #9767 | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

dish, model #9767

estimate: $4,000–5,000
result: $12,000
ALVAR AALTO, shelf, model 111 | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

shelf, model 111

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $11,875
ALVAR AALTO, collection of ten wall shelves | wright20.com

Alvar Aalto

collection of ten wall shelves

estimate: $4,000–6,000
result: $11,875