Alvar Aalto  (Finnish, 1898-1976) 

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Alvar Aalto (Finnish, 1898–1976) was a renowned architect and designer of furniture and glassworks. Born in Kuortane, Finland, Aalto graduated from the Helsinki Institute of Technology in 1921 with a degree in architecture. He then went on to establish his own architectural studio in 1923 in Jyväskylä, Finland, along with his wife and fellow architect Aino Aalto (Finnish, 1894–1949). Aalto’s early designs had numerous influences, but his style ultimately encapsulated the aesthetic and beliefs of Functionalism, a design approach that was user-friendly and practical, while working towards the congruence of design and nature within the confines of public and private buildings. During the late 1920s, Aalto’s aesthetic shifted from a more classical design style to Functionalism, epitomized in his designs of the Viipuri Library and the Paimio Sanatorium. Aalto believed in creating a total work of art with the buildings he erected, which influenced the design of many of the furnishings and accessories inside. He also experimented with plywood, most notably in his work the Paimio Chair (1931-32), which began as an item of furniture in the patient’s lounge of the Paimio Sanatorium. Another notable furniture design is the three-legged stacking Stool 60 (1933), whose simplicity and functionality make it a mainstay of contemporary design.

In 1935, Aalto met with wealthy couple, Maire and Harry Gullichsen, which marked a significant transition in his career as together they founded Artek. The company manufactured and sold Aalto’s furniture designs, and their production spread Aalto’s designs and aesthetic worldwide. In 1937, the Gullischsens also hired Aalto to design a residence for them, the Villa Mairea, which revolutionized his design aesthetic. It was also during this time that Aalto created another iconic object, the Savoy vase or Aalto vase, an asymmetrical curving glass design that came to be one of his best-known products. Aalto went on to design many more pieces of furniture and design objects as well as buildings, city centers, and homes worldwide. During the late 1940s, he taught on-and-off at MIT, and designed the Baker House Dormitory for the university toward the end of his time there. Aalto received numerous honors and awards during his lifetime, both in his native Finland and abroad, including a position as the chairman and, later, honorary member of the Association of Finnish Architects, and served as president of the Finnish Academy from 1963 to 1968. Works by Aalto can be viewed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the Alvar Aalto Museum in Finland.

Find Alvar Aalto artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Artworks for sale (28)

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Alvar Aalto, Flying Saucer ceiling lamp, model A337

 

Alvar Aalto
Flying Saucer ceiling lamp, model A337
Auction: May 8, 2014
Wright
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Alvar Aalto, Ceiling lamp, model 622B

 

Alvar Aalto
Ceiling lamp, model 622B
1953

Auction: May 8, 2014
Wright
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Alvar Aalto, Angel Wing floor lamp, model 805

 

Alvar Aalto
Angel Wing floor lamp, model 805
1955

Auction: May 8, 2014
Wright
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Alvar Aalto, Cantilever chair, model 21

 

Alvar Aalto
Cantilever chair, model 21
1932

Auction: May 8, 2014
Wright
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Alvar Aalto, Collection of ten wall shelves (set of 10)

 

Alvar Aalto
Collection of ten wall shelves (set of 10)
1933

Auction: May 8, 2014
Wright
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Alvar Aalto, L-Leg bench, model 106

 

Alvar Aalto
L-Leg bench, model 106
1933

Auction: May 8, 2014
Wright
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Alvar Aalto, Beehive ceiling lamp, model A331

 

Alvar Aalto
Beehive ceiling lamp, model A331
1975

Auction: May 8, 2014
Wright
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Alvar Aalto, Model no. 400 armchairs (pair)

 

Alvar Aalto
Model no. 400 armchairs (pair)
Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Stockholms Auktionsverk
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Alvar Aalto, Early adjustable table and headboard lamp, model no. A703

 

Alvar Aalto
Early adjustable table and headboard lamp, model no. A703
1957

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Past auction results (2026)  View All
Alvar Aalto, Otto lampade a sospensione A 330 Golden Bell (8 works)

 

Alvar Aalto
Otto lampade a sospensione A 330 Golden Bell (8 works), 1950-1959
brass

 

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Alvar Aalto, Gueridon no. 70

 

Alvar Aalto
Gueridon no. 70, 1935
lacquered wood, birch

 

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Alvar Aalto, Paravent Modèle 100

 

Alvar Aalto
Paravent Modèle 100, 1940
laminated birch

 

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