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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
$5,052
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Florence Knoll
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Florence Knoll Lounge Chair
Florence Knoll Lounge Chair
Florence Knoll Sofa
Florence Knoll Sofa
Florence Knoll Bench
Florence Knoll Bench
Florence Knoll Settee
Florence Knoll Settee
Florence Knoll for Knoll International Early Credenzas
By Knoll, Florence Knoll
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Florence Knoll for Knoll, sideboards, teak, fabric, metal, United States, ca. 1950 These sideboards are designed by Florence Knoll for Knoll International. The sideboards are exec...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Metal

Architectural Florence Knoll T-Angle Table Bench
By Florence Knoll
Located in Dallas, TX
Early Florence Knoll 'T-Angle' table bench with original black laminate tops. Would serve well and an oversized coffee table or cocktail table but it is built in a way that would eas...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Steel

Vintage Oak Dining Table or Desk by Florence Knoll
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Burbank, CA
Amazing vintage oak dining table/desk designed by Florence Knoll for Knoll International in the United States, circa 1960s. The design of this table stands out for its great versatil...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Stainless Steel, Chrome

Pair Mid-Century Rosewood with Carrara Marble Top Nightstands by Florence Knoll
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in BROOKLYN, NY
Pair of beautiful Florence knoll single drawer nightstands or side tables. Rosewood single drawer nightstands with clean Carrara marble tops. Oak drawers with single white divider. H...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Marble, Carrara Marble

Vintage MCM Florence Knoll Settee
By Florence Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Beautifully tufted vintage Knoll Florence Settee with original upholstery.
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Fabric

  • Vintage MCM Florence Knoll Settee
  • Vintage MCM Florence Knoll Settee
  • Vintage MCM Florence Knoll Settee
  • Vintage MCM Florence Knoll Settee
H 32 in. W 63 in. D 36 in.
Florence Knoll Walnut & Chrome Oval Dining Table or Desk for Knoll Inc.
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Versatile table designed by Florence Knoll for Knoll International in the United States circa 1960s. This iconic design features a solid oval walnut wood top that sits over a chromed...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Steel

Florence Knoll Oval Burgundy Marble Dining Table, 1960s
By Florence Knoll, Knoll
Located in Antwerp, BE
Florence Knoll; Oval; Burgundy; Red; Purple; Marble; dining table; 1960; 1960s Design; Dining Area; Dining Room; United States; USA; Knoll Design; Knoll Furniture; Eilel Saarinen; Al...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Marble, Steel

Mid-Century Oval with Marble Top and Chromed Metal Feet Dining Table by Knoll
By Florence Knoll
Located in Brussels, BE
Mid-century oval with marble top and chromed metal feet dining table by Knoll - 1960s.
Category

1960s French Vintage Florence Knoll

Materials

Marble

Browse all Furniture from Florence Knoll
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Florence Knoll Sellers

More Florence Knoll Designs
Florence Knoll Lounge Chair
Florence Knoll Lounge Chair
Average Price
$5,168
Number Available
17
Florence Knoll Lounge Chair
By Florence Knoll
Materials
Fabric, Metal, Steel, Upholstery
Styles
Mid Century Modern
It doesn’t get more timeless or starkly modern than the boxy chrome-footed Florence Knoll lounge chair.Designed in 1954 by Florence Knoll Bassett (1917–2019) for the legendary furniture manufacturer Knoll Inc. that she helped establish with her husband Hans Knoll, the chair is representative of all her signature gestures, from the sturdy construction to the button tufting, and like the rest of her work, it embodies the very essence of modernism.In many ways, Knoll was destined to become a hou...
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Florence Knoll Sofa
Florence Knoll Sofa
Average Price
$8,270
Number Available
11
Florence Knoll Sofa
By Florence Knoll
Materials
Fabric, Metal, Stainless Steel
Styles
Mid Century Modern
Although Michigan native Florence Knoll (1917–2019) modestly described her furniture as “meat and potatoes” designs that were largely “fill-in pieces” for the Knoll Associates catalog, works like the Florence Knoll sofa demonstrate her artful expression of modern proportions. Introduced in 1954, the sofa was made during the American designer and entrepreneur’s direction of the Knoll Planning Unit, the company’s pioneering “design consultant service” that would define the look of the postwar w...
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Florence Knoll Bench
Florence Knoll Bench
Average Price
$4,028
Number Available
10
Florence Knoll Bench
By Florence Knoll
Materials
Metal, Steel, Wood, Chrome, Fabric
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Florence Knoll Settee
Florence Knoll Settee
Average Price
$8,429
Number Available
3
Florence Knoll Settee
By Florence Knoll
Materials
Fabric, Chrome, Metal, Steel, Upholstery, Velvet
Styles
Mid Century Modern
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Florence Knoll furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Florence Knoll furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. In our Florence Knoll collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are 257 vintage versions of these items in stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many original furniture by Florence Knoll were created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Jens Risom, George Nelson and Harvey Probber. The prices for Florence Knoll furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $389 and tops out at $22,000, while pieces like these can sell for $5,200 on average.
Questions About Florence Knoll
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Florence Knoll was an architect and furniture designer who greatly influenced mid-century design. She established the furniture company Knoll, Inc., which continues to manufacture pieces inspired by her designs. Knoll died on January 25, 2019, at the age of 101. Find a collection of Florence Knoll furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    To pronounce Florence Knoll, say "FLO-rens Noll." The "K" in the designer's last name is silent. Florence Knoll's maiden name was Florence Marguerite Schust, pronounced "shusht." She changed her name after marrying Hans Knoll in 1946. Find a range of Florence Knoll furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Florence Knoll lived in the U.S. throughout her life. She was born in Saginaw, Michigan, on May 24, 1917, and she died in Coral Gables, Florida, on January 25, 2019. From 1940 to 1941, she attended the Chicago Armour Institute in Chicago, Illinois. After that, she lived and worked in New York City for many years. On 1stDibs, find a range of Florence Knoll furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Florence Knoll made a number of well-known furniture designs and founded the company Knoll, Inc. Some of her most acclaimed pieces include the Florence Knoll lounge chair, the Florence Knoll sofa, the Florence Knoll bench and the Florence Knoll settee. Shop a variety of Florence Knoll furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    No, Florence Knoll didn't usually put a number on her pieces. To identify Florence Knoll furniture, look for a tag or mark that bears the name "Knoll" or "Knoll, Inc." On chairs, the labels are usually on the bottom cushion. On 1stDibs, find a collection of expertly vetted Florence Knoll furniture.

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