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Florence Knoll

American, 1917-2019

Architect, furniture designer, interior designer, entrepreneur — Florence Knoll had a subtle but profound influence on the course of mid-century American modernism. Dedicated to functionality and organization, and never flamboyant, Knoll shaped the ethos of the postwar business world with her polished, efficient design and skillfully realized office plans.

Knoll had perhaps the most thorough design education of any of her peers. Florence Schust was orphaned at age 12, and her guardian sent her to Kingswood, a girl’s boarding school that is part of the Cranbrook Educational Community in suburban Detroit. Her interest in design brought her to the attention of Eliel Saarinen, the Finnish architect and head of the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Saarinen and his wife took the talented child under their wing, and she became close to their son, the future architect Eero Saarinen. While a student at the academy, Florence befriended artist-designer Harry Bertoia and Charles and Ray Eames. Later, she studied under three of the Bauhaus masters who emigrated to the United States. She worked as an apprentice in the Boston architectural offices of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe taught her at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

In 1941, she met Hans Knoll, whose eponymous furniture company was just getting off the ground. They married in 1946, and her design sense and his business skills soon made Knoll Inc. a leading firm in its field. Florence signed up the younger Saarinen as a designer, and would develop pieces by Bertoia, Mies and the artist Isamu Noguchi. Her main work came as head of the Knoll Planning Group, designing custom office interiors for clients such as IBM and CBS. The furniture Florence created for these spaces reflects her Bauhaus training: the pieces are pure functional design, exactingly built; their only ornament from the materials, such as wood and marble. Her innovations — the oval conference table, for example, conceived as a way to ensure clear sightlines among all seated at a meeting — were always in the service of practicality.

Since her retirement in 1965, Knoll received the National Medal of Arts, among other awards; in 2004 the Philadelphia Museum of Art mounted the exhibition “Florence Knoll: Defining Modern” — well deserved accolades for a strong, successful design and business pioneer. As demonstrated on these pages, the simplicity of Knoll’s furniture is her work’s great virtue: they fit into any interior design scheme.

Average Sold Price
$4,689
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Florence Knoll
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Florence Knoll Sofa
Florence Knoll Sofa
Florence Knoll Lounge Chair
Florence Knoll Lounge Chair
Florence Knoll Bench
Florence Knoll Bench
Florence Knoll Settee
Florence Knoll Settee
Vintage Modern Florence Knoll Server
By Florence Knoll
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A Mid-Century Modern Florence Knoll 4 position credenza. The stunning cabinet design and chrome base with six feet to assure stability lend themselves to any modern office, workspace...
Category

1970s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Marble

  • Vintage Modern Florence Knoll Server
  • Vintage Modern Florence Knoll Server
  • Vintage Modern Florence Knoll Server
  • Vintage Modern Florence Knoll Server
H 25.5 in. W 74.5 in. D 18 in.
Florence Knoll Nightstand for Knoll
By Florence Knoll
Located in Dallas, TX
An early walnut bedside table with stone top. Designed by Florence Knoll for Knoll.  
Category

1950s Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Walnut

  • Florence Knoll Nightstand for Knoll
  • Florence Knoll Nightstand for Knoll
  • Florence Knoll Nightstand for Knoll
  • Florence Knoll Nightstand for Knoll
H 24.75 in. W 31 in. D 32 in.
Vintage Teak Executive Desk by Florence Knoll
By Florence Knoll
Located in Burbank, CA
Stunning vintage teak executive desk designed by architect and furniture designer Florence Knoll in the United States, circa 1960s. This iconic design, known as the partner's desk, f...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Steel, Chrome

Classic Knoll Walnut Round Table Dining Conference, 1961
By Florence Knoll
Located in National City, CA
For your consideration: a vintage midcentury Classic Knoll 48" round dining and or conference table with new lacquered walnut top - features a chrome base, circa 1960s, USA. Florence...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Walnut

Florence Knoll Maple Credenza with Leather Pulls and Oak Drawers Early 1950s
By Florence Knoll
Located in Dallas, TX
Early and rare credenza in maple by Florence Knoll for Knoll International. This classic modern icon is absolutely amazing and was constructed with a beautiful maple, oak drawers, na...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Steel

Vintage Florence Knoll Three-Seat Rosewood Sofa
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in San Jose, CA
Mid-Century Modern sofa by Florence Knoll for Knoll, model 2553 RW. This piece was designed with a custom rosewood frame and original red crimson textile fabric. Seat cushions are su...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Rosewood

Mid-Century Florence Knoll "Parallel Bar" Slipper Chairs
By Florence Knoll
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Pair of lounge chairs by Florence Knoll, circa 1955. Stunning mid-century modern pair of slipper style chairs feature tufted vintage fabric, sturdy and stylish frames, and iconic vin...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Florence Knoll Partners Desk
By Florence Knoll
Located in Dallas, TX
A walnut partners desk designed by Florence Knoll for Knoll.
Category

1960s Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Walnut

  • Florence Knoll Partners Desk
  • Florence Knoll Partners Desk
  • Florence Knoll Partners Desk
  • Florence Knoll Partners Desk
H 28.25 in. W 72 in. D 38 in.
Browse all Furniture from Florence Knoll
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