Dignified felines have been featured in countless styles of art throughout history, but in my totally unbiased opinion they are best represented in mid-century modern cat art.
The swanky era of Sputniks and martinis was a perfect match for the posh kitties that we love.
So I’m happy to report that mid-century style cat art is still readily available today. Here’s a look at what it is, who still makes it, and where you can track down your own mod cat paintings.
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About Mid-Century Modern Cat Art
Mid-century cats go by many names. I usually call them mod cats. They’re also referred to as retro cats or atomic kitties, since they’re sometimes painted with Sputniks and starbursts from the atomic era.
These are the features you’ll usually find in mid-century cat paintings (but, in true cat form, they don’t always follow the “rules”):
- Abstract Cat Bodies: They may have bowling pin bodies, or long skinny necks, or spiky legs in a sort of “H” shape. Some have football heads, while others have crescent moon heads.
- Mid-Century Shapes: Sometimes they share the canvas with other mid-mod shapes, like boomerangs or diamonds.
- Retro Colors: Look for fun colors, like orange, aqua, yellow, lime and pink.
Meet Today’s Atomic Cat Artists
You’ll find the Donna Mibus mod cats lounging in all sorts of mid-century scenes. They love tikis, bubble lamps and bullet planters. I’m the proud owner of this Donna Mibus painting, and my cats are big fans.
Jeffrey Coleson’s mod cats are decidedly playful and mischievous, with whimsically curvy tails and innocent over-sized eyes, like this. Sometimes the kitties even get a crown, like Princess here. She looks right at home in her mid-century chair.
DexMex has hundreds of mid-century cat prints, with felines owning every room in the house. There are cats in the office, the garden, the laundry room, and even coffee-loving cats for the kitchen. I love this colorful print for the office or living room.
Kerry Beary’s atomic kitties can be seen taking over kitchens, sprawling out on sofas and just generally dominating the scene. This one is perfectly pleased with its fish tank TV. And these ones like lounging on upscale mid-century chairs.
Shag creates all sorts of limited-edition Palm Springs style prints, including several mod cat options. These tipsy cocktail cats are fabulous, as well as his current collection of Halloween monsters with mod kitties.
This mod cat artist sells original canvas paintings of playful kitties. These cats are especially interested in martinis and other cocktails. They appreciate a nice drink by the fire or pool.
Sk8ghost’s mid-century kitties have an industrial vibe and are sometimes pictured with cityscapes and retro stars. The original canvas paintings come in a variety of colors and sizes, including mini canvases for smaller spaces or budgets.
Jason Smith paints surreal and colorful desert animals, including a couple of unique looking mod cats. These prints would work well for boho modern decor styles as well as mid-century.
Scooter creates cat prints and paintings in all your favorite mid-century colors. His cats can be seen enjoying wine, playing some vinyl, or even riding scooters. You can also find Scooter’s fun prints on merchandise, like mod cat clocks, curtains and pillows here.
Where to Find Mid-Century Modern Cat Art
Many of the above artists have online stores you can check out, and some have products on Amazon, too. Here are a few favorite mid-century cat paintings and prints available on Amazon.
If you’re feeling creative, you can also paint your own mid-century style cat art. It just takes a few basic shapes to get that atomic kitty look. See my mod cat painting tutorial to try it out!