Midwestern Style: Architects, Designers and Artists

Midwestern Style: Architects, Designers and Artists

Sarah Coffey
Jul 23, 2007

While (re)reading Kate Spade's Style the other day, this quote from the introduction jumped out at us: I was born in the Midwest, and style wasn't much on anyone's mind.

What?! Kate, you're right about a lot of things, but you're wrong on this one.

To argue our point, here are some of the best and brightest style icons of the past 100 years...all of them born and bred in the Midwest.

Dirk Jan DePree, Founder of Herman Miller, b. 1891 in Zeeland, Michigan
Charles Eames, Designer, b. 1907 in St. Louis, Missouri
Michael Graves, Architect, b. 1934 in Indianapolis, Indiana
Jenny Holzer, Installation Artist, b. 1959 in Gallipolis, Ohio
Philip Johnson, Architect, b. 1906 in Cleveland, Ohio
Maya Lin, Designer of the Vietnam Memorial, b. 1959 in Athens, Ohio
Georgia O'Keefe, Artist, b. 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Gordon Parks, Photographer, b. 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas
Bill Stumpf, Co-designer of the Aeron Chair, b. 1936 in St. Louis, Missouri
Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect, b. 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin

And let's not forget the long list of people who weren't born here, but did much of their most important work while living in the Midwest, including Buckminster Fuller, Louis Sullivan, Eliel and Eero Saarinen and Mies van der Rohe.

This is our (limited) short list...chime in with your favorite Midwestern style icons!

Image: Eames Molded Plywood Chair via Treadway Gallery.

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