Retro metal wall sculptures are having a major moment right now, thanks in large part to the hit show Mad Men. The mid-century modern aesthetic of the 1960s is back in a big way, and decorative metal art makes for the perfect way to channel this stylish vintage look in your home. Keep reading to learn all about the trend of retro metal wall art, the different design styles available, tips for decorating with these unique pieces, and where to find the very best selection of retro metal wall sculptures to make your space truly Mad Men chic.

The Resurgence of Mid-Century Modern Style

The mid-20th century gave rise to some of the most iconic furniture and decorating trends that still look fresh and stylish today. Mid-century modern style is characterized by clean lines, organic shapes, pops of vivid color, and decorative accents made from materials like wood, plastic, and metal.

This look first became popular in the 1950s and 1960s but has seen a major revival over the last decade, thanks in large part to the runaway success of the TV show Mad Men. Set in the 1960s, the show’s depiction of retro home decor, furniture, and fashion spurred a renewed interest in this era. Mid-century modern is now one of the most sought-after vintage decor styles.

Retro metal wall art and sculptures align perfectly with mid-century modern aesthetics. The sleek, minimalist shapes and metallic materials give a nod to this iconic vintage style in a way that looks just as chic now as it did 60 years ago.

The Allure of Decorative Metal Wall Sculptures

Metal art makes for an intriguing accent in any room. Retro-inspired metal wall sculptures are especially popular for a few key reasons:

  • Texture and shine – The smooth or hammered textures and metallic sheen of these sculptures catch the light beautifully and add eye-catching visual interest.
  • Bold shapes – Metal can be formed into all types of geometric or abstract shapes, from circles and waves to zigzags and spirals. These dimensional forms stand out on walls.
  • Sculptural quality – Metalworking allows for incredibly intricate detailing unavailable in many other art mediums. This gives metal wall art a true sense of unique craftsmanship.
  • Industrial edge – Unfinished metals like iron, steel, and aluminum have an urban, warehouse vibe. This raw, industrial look heightens the retro appeal.
  • Color options – While many prefer the look of natural metals, some modern metal sculptures come powder-coated in lively colors for a pop of brightness.

Metal sculptures ranging from abstract wall hangings to modular wall screens give an artistic, almost gallery-like feel to home decor. The retro versions available today take this effect to the next level for vintage design lovers.

Popular Retro Metal Wall Sculpture Styles

There are numerous types of metal wall art and sculptures to choose from for achieving a Mad Men-worthy space. Some of the most popular retro-inspired styles include:

Mid-Century Wire Sculptures

Sculptural wire pieces were used often in mid-century decor to add dimensional intrigue to walls. Many retro wire wall sculptures today recreate these iconic shapes using iron, steel, copper, brass, and more. Flowing wire designs imitate organic forms like flowers, leaves, and botanicals or geometric patterns like waves and zigzags.

Benefits – Lightweight, easy to mount, create shadows and visual interest.

Laser-Cut Metal Screens

Laser cutting allows for incredibly intricate metalwork with cutout patterns and designs. Modern metal fabricators are using this technique to make screens and panels with popular mid-century motifs like starbursts, boomerangs, honeycombs, and atomic or solar symbols. The negative space creates shadow effects on walls for added artistic appeal.

Benefits – Endless customization options, light passes through cutouts.

Geometric Metal Wall Panels

Modular metal panels often comprised of triangles, circles, diamonds and other shapes came into fashion in the 1950s and 60s as an easy way to add artful interest to walls. New versions recreate the groovy geometric patterns and textures of these 3D panels in iron, aluminum, and weathered steel. They can be clustered together or spaced out for a customizable look.

Benefits – Dimensional and textural interest, sculptural quality.

Mid-Century Starburst Mirrors

No mid-century inspired space is complete without a starburst mirror! This iconic mirror shape with its undulating rays emanating from the center was hugely popular decor in the Mad Men era. Today, starburst mirrors with bronze, gold, white, or colorful finishes make a stellar retro accent above credenzas, sideboards, and headboards.

Benefits – Nostalgic shape, reflects light beautifully.

Sputnik Chandeliers and Lamps

The Sputnik style lighting fixture featuring a central bulb surrounded by spiky metal rods radiating outward was conceived by Soviet engineers in the 1950s. These eccentric chandeliers and pendant lamps became trendy in the 1960s and again today thanks to the retro revival. Modern sputnik fixtures come in polished chrome, brass, black metal, and more.

Benefits – Iconic retro lighting shape, eye-catching focal point.

Textured Metal Medallions

Round sculptural metal medallions and sunbursts were commonly displayed on mid-century walls as standalone art pieces. Reimagined textured metal medallions today can be found with hammered, punched, spun, or patinated finishes. They’re perfect for filling empty wall space above credenzas and sideboards in need of decorative flair.

Benefits – Rich metal textures, versatile wall accent.

Tips for Decorating with Retro Metal Wall Sculptures

When using vintage-inspired metal art and sculptures to decorate in true Mad Men style, keep these tips in mind:

  • Go big – Oversized wall art makes a dramatic impact. Maximize the wow factor with a large statement piece like a bold geometric panel or multi-orb chandelier.
  • Layer textures – Combine metal with other tactile materials like wood furniture and rugs for cozy contrast. avoid busy patterns and keep colors/textures simple.
  • Spotlight with light – Position metal sculptures near light sources like windows and strategic track lighting. Shadow and reflections amp up the visual dynamics.
  • Elevate focal walls – Use metal art to draw the eye upwards on blank accent walls behind sofas, beds, and shelving. Gallery walls also showcase sculptural pieces beautifully.
  • Repeat motifs – The retro look often featured repeating shapes and patterns. Echo similar circular or boomerang forms with multiple pieces for a cohesive look.
  • Incorporate vintage touches – Pull it all together by adding accessories like ceramic vases, retro clocks, and other well-chosen decorative items from the era.

Where to Buy Retro Metal Wall Sculptures

You can find amazing selection of mid-century modern style metal wall sculptures, panels, mobiles, mirrors, lighting, and more both online and in-store from these great shops:

  • Etsy – Tons of metal artists and vintage sellers offer one-of-a-kind retro metal wall hangings and custom pieces on Etsy. Search terms like “mid-century mobile” and “boomerang wall sculpture” yield great results.
  • West Elm – This modern home store stocks a rotating selection of geometric laser-cut screens, perforated metal art, starburst mirrors, and more sculptural metal wall accents with retro design sensibilities.
  • Urban Outfitters – Check out their selection of textured medallions, abstract wire wall sculptures, and colorful sputnik-style lighting for lots of fun retro finds.
  • CB2 – Streamlined mobiles, metallic prints, and graphic metal panels with a retro vibe can be found here alongside more contemporary offerings.
  • World Market – Vintage-inspired wire wall art as well as decorative mirrors with mid-century starburst and sunburst shapes are available.
  • Chairish – This online shop for vintage and antique furnishings stocks authentic mid-century and Danish modern metal wall sculptures sourced from around the world.
  • 1st Dibs – Search this high-end vintage furniture marketplace for truly unique, one-of-a-kind metal mobiles and wall art pieces from the 1950s-60s era.

So whether you’re a diehard Mad Men fan looking to recreate the 60s decorative style of Don Draper’s Manhattan apartment or just want to add a dash of vintage flair to your rooms, shop this hot trend of retro metal wall sculptures, hangings, and light fixtures. Complement your iconic metallic pieces with clean-lined furniture, graphic prints, and lush potted plants to complete the mid-century modern aesthetic. Just don’t be surprised when guests ask if your home somehow doubled as a set on the TV show!

Frequently Asked Questions About Retro Metal Wall Sculptures

What are some of the most iconic mid-century modern metal wall sculpture designs?

Some of the most iconic mid-century metal wall sculpture designs include starburst mirrors, geometric wall panels, wire mobiles, sputnik lighting fixtures, and pieces with sunburst, atomic, and boomerang motifs.

How can I incorporate a retro metal sculpture into my existing decor?

Focus on choosing a metal sculpture in a style, finish, or color palette that complements your overall decor scheme. Pair your vintage-inspired piece with some mid-century modern furniture touches to tie the look together seamlessly.

What types of metals are typically used in retro wall sculptures?

Iron, steel, aluminum, brass, copper, and chrome are all common metals used in vintage and mid-century inspired metal wall sculptures for their durability, malleability, shine, and raw industrial appeal.

How do I properly care for and maintain metal wall sculptures?

Use a duster to regularly remove dust from textured metal surfaces. Occasionally wipe with a soft cloth dampened with a mild non-abrasive cleaner. Avoid excessive moisture and immediately dry. For brass pieces, apply a polish made for brass to maintain the shiny finish over time.

How can I mount my heavy metal wall sculpture securely?

Heavier metal art pieces will require special hardware for proper mounting like brackets, cleats, or toggles that can handle the weight load. Wall studs and anchors rated for the sculpture’s weight should be used. Consult a hardware specialist about the best options.


The Mad Men TV show may have ignited today’s appreciation for mid-century style, but the craze for groovy retro metal wall sculptures shows no signs of slowing down. With their textural intrigue, dimensional shapes, glinting metallic finishes, and sense of mod historical charm, these metal art pieces capture the best of the era’s decor. Whether your taste runs towards Sputnik lighting fixtures, far-out geometric wall panels, or abstract wire mobiles, there is a sensational selection of retro metal wall sculptures to make your home a hip time capsule of 1950s and 60s style. Just be careful – you may never want to leave the Mad Men world of swanky decor once you give your walls a dose of these ultra-cool vintage metal artworks!