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Charles Pollock

American, 1930-2013

Charles Pollock was a renowned but reclusive furniture designer. He rarely spoke to the media and instead preferred to let his iconic designs speak for themselves. Pollock’s name is ubiquitous with mid-century modern office furniture — while vintage furniture obsessives know the office chairs he made for Knoll, he designed armchairs and lounge chairs for domestic interiors as well.

Pollock was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1930. When his family moved to Michigan, he attended Detroit's Cass Technical High School, whose alumni includes artist-designer Harry Bertoia. For his extraordinary work at Cass, Pollock earned a full scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York City.

Industrial designer Lucia DeRespinis had been a classmate of Pollock’s at Pratt and got a job in architect George Nelson’s studio after graduation. Nelson, the design director at legendary mid-century furniture manufacturer Herman Miller, was always looking for new design talent. DeRespinis was struck by Pollock’s sculptures at Pratt and recommended Nelson hire him. Pollock, who had been working for Donald Deskey’s firm, took a job with Nelson and helped create the Swag Leg armchair (a full Swag Leg collection debuted at Herman Miller in the late 1950s). Soon afteward, Pollock opened his own studio and shared his portfolio with pioneering designer Florence Knoll at the modernist behemoth she cofounded with her husband Hans.

Pollock’s 657 Sling chair for Knoll debuted in 1960 and earned him a substantial contract with the brand. This paved the way for his most famous design: the Executive chair. Introduced in 1963, the Executive chair became one of the best-selling and most recognizable office chairs in history. Pollock devoted five years to perfecting the seat, and his patented rim technology allowed for simple assembly, which contributed to its success and popularity.

Pollock later returned to sculpting and explored other pursuits but never stopped designing furniture. In 1982, he created the Penelope chair for the Italian furniture maker Castelli. At 82 years of age, Pollock was commissioned by American manufacturer Bernhardt Design to create the CP Lounge chair, which was launched at the London Design Festival 2012. Pollock died a short while later, in 2013, but his seating is still produced by Bernhardt Design today.

Pollock received much acclaim throughout his career. He earned several awards, including the prestigious Red Dot Design Award and Pratt Institute's Rowena Reed Kostellow Award for outstanding work in industrial design. His Executive chair has been exhibited at museums around the world, including the Louvre Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

On 1stDibs, find vintage Charles Pollock seating and other furniture today.

Knoll Pollock Executive Chair in Original Black Leather, Matte Black Frame
By Charles Pollock
Located in Wilton, CT
Offering the classic Pollock Executive Chair in its original black leather, black steel frame, and vintage 4-star base, in very good condition. Charles Pollock was a master of desig...
Category

1980s North American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Pollock

Materials

Stainless Steel

Black Leather Knoll Desk Chair designed by Charles Pollock
By Knoll, Charles Pollock
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Classic black leather desk chair by Charles Pollock and manufactured by Knoll. Executed in black leather and steel base. No tears or missing buttons or screws. Leather in very good c...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Charles Pollock

Materials

Metal

1 Charles Pollock for Knoll Executive Chairs
By Charles Pollock
Located in Pasadena, TX
The Pollock executive chair features what the designer described as "rim technology"—the use of a single aluminum band around the chair's perimeter to hold the design together, structurally and visually. Fifty years after its introduction, the Pollock Chair continues to exude timeless elegance in any home office. Extremely comfortable and a classic Mid-Century Modern design. 1 Vintage Charles Pollock for Knoll executive chair...
Category

Mid-20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern Charles Pollock

Materials

Leather

  • 1 Charles Pollock for Knoll Executive Chairs
  • 1 Charles Pollock for Knoll Executive Chairs
  • 1 Charles Pollock for Knoll Executive Chairs
  • 1 Charles Pollock for Knoll Executive Chairs
H 31.5 in W 26.25 in D 28.5 in
Pair of Charles Pollock for Knoll Arm or Desk Chairs in Brown Leather & Black
By Charles Pollock, Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Produced by Knoll, these chairs were designed by Charles Pollock. Dated by the address on the label, these were made in the 1960s. This pair features dark brown leather and a chromed...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Pollock

Materials

Steel

10 Charles Pollock Executive Desk Chairs for Knoll
By Knoll, Charles Pollock
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Set of 10 vintage Charles Pollock executive desk chair for Knoll. The ultimate ergonomic, office desk chair designed by this George Nelson apprentice, Charles Pollock. Sold separately.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Pollock

Materials

Leather

Knoll Pollock Executive Chair in Aubergine Leather, Matte Black Frame
By Charles Pollock
Located in Wilton, CT
Offering the classic Pollock Executive Chair in this beautiful aubergine leather, black steel frame, in good condition. The leather upholstery has been recently redone and in excelle...
Category

1980s North American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Pollock

Materials

Stainless Steel

Set of 6 Castelli Penelope dining/conference chairs by Charles Pollock
By Charles Pollock, Anonima Castelli
Located in Ludwigslust, DE
The set of 6 Penelope chairs is in excellent condition. The chrome-plated metal frames, as well as the black metal nets on the seat and back surfaces, show hardly any signs of wear. ...
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Charles Pollock

Materials

Metal

Charles Pollock Executive Chair in Black Leather
By Charles Pollock, Knoll
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Vintage Charles Pollock for Knoll executive chair in black blue leather. This executive desk chair has a swivel base with manual adjustable height. Base with all wheels in working co...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Charles Pollock

Materials

Chrome

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Charles Pollock furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Charles Pollock furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Charles Pollock furniture, although black editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Charles Pollock were created in the mid-century modern style in united states during the 1960s. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Conant Ball, Russel Wright, and Salterini. Prices for Charles Pollock furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $6,469 and can go as high as $6,469, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $6,469.

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