Modern Americana: Studio Furniture from High Craft to High Glam

Overview

In the current world of twentieth-century design collecting, the trend has shifted away from accessible, mass-manufactured modernist furniture and toward designs that were custom-made or produced in very limited editions, with emphasis on American studio design of the 1940s to the 1990s. In contrast to the mass-produced mid-century furniture by Knoll and Herman Miller, American studio designs of the same period focused on novel forms and exquisite craftsmanship. Ranging from the organic shapes of George Nakashima...
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Overview

In the current world of twentieth-century design collecting, the trend has shifted away from accessible, mass-manufactured modernist furniture and toward designs that were custom-made or produced in very limited editions, with emphasis on American studio design of the 1940s to the 1990s. In contrast to the mass-produced mid-century furniture by Knoll and Herman Miller, American studio designs of the same period focused on novel forms and exquisite craftsmanship. Ranging from the organic shapes of George Nakashima and Vladimir Kagan to metalworks by Paul Evans, these limited production designs were highly sought after in their days by original tastemakers and movie stars. In the last decade, a revival for these rare designs began with connoisseurs such as Tom Ford. Modern Americana is the first full survey of the designs of this prolific but forgotten period, bringing to life again the works of Samuel Marx, Billy Haines, Wendell Castle, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Karl Springer, James Mont, and many others — including J.B. Blunk, Michael Coffey, Wharton Esherick, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Sam Maloof, Jack Rogers Hopkins, Paul Evans & Philip Lloyd Powell, Vladimir Kagan, George Nakashima, Silas Seandel, Charles Hollis Jones, Philip & Kevin LaVerne, Tommi Parzinger, Harvey Probber, Edward Wormley, John Dickinson, Arthur Elrod, and Paul Laszlo.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847830534
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Todd Merrill is the proprietor of Todd Merrill Antiques in New York City, one of the premier galleries for limited-edition furniture designs. He was the head of communications at Christie’s from 1993–1994. Julie Iovine is the executive editor of The Architect’s Newspaper and was a regular contributor to the New York Times’ House and Home and Style sections.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 9

The Studio Artisans

J. B. Blunk 35

Wendell Castle 43

Michael Coffey 53

Wharton Esherick 59

Arthur Espenet Carpenter 69

Sam Maloof 75

Jack Rogers Hopkins 83

The Designer Craftsmen

Paul Evans & Phillip Lloyd Powell 91

Vladimir Kagan 113

George Nakashima 125

Silas Seandel 137

The Custom Designers

Charles Hollis Jones 145

Philip & Kelvin LaVerne 153

James Mont 163

Tommi Parzinger 175

Harvey Probber 184

T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings 195

Karl Springer 207

Edward Wormley 217

The Decorator-Designers

John Dickinson 229

Arthur Elrod 237

William Haines 243

Paul Laszlo 251

Samuel Marx 261

Bibliography 268

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