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Paul Frankl

Austrian, 1886-1958
Born in Vienna, Paul Frankl came to the United States in 1914 as part of a wave of Central European design luminaries — among them Kem Weber, Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra — who were drawn by the energy and optimism of the American scene. Prolific and protean, Frankl would go on to design furnishings that are emblematic of nearly every key stylistic chord in American modernism, from the streamlined Art Deco to free-form organic shapes.

     His “Skyscraper” cabinets, introduced in 1924, are Frankl’s earliest and best-known designs (and the work by which he is most often represented in institutions, such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art). Tall and narrow, the pieces have staggered shelves meant to mimic the setbacks of Manhattan office towers. A later visually expressive line — the “Speed” chairs and sofas, which have a raked profile suggesting motion — links Frankl to Donald Deskey, Raymond Loewy and other creators of “Streamlined Moderne” design.

     Frankl moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and luxuriated in the climate and lifestyle. His designs became lighter and simpler and found an audience among the Hollywood élite. (Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Fred Astaire were clients.) Fascinated by Asian arts, Frankl produced numerous pieces — tabletops with edges that curve upward; sofas and chairs with rattan frames — inspired by Chinese and Japanese forms and materials. In the 1940s, Frankl became one of the first designers to incorporate free-form, biomorphic shapes in his work, as well as novel upholstery fabrics such as denim and nubby wool.

     Frankl biographer Christopher Long argues that the designer’s easy, elegant aesthetic had an enormous influence on movie set design. As the furniture below attests, Paul Frankl’s work is ready for its close-up.

Iconic Designs from Paul Frankl
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Pretzel Sofa
Pretzel Sofa
Skyscraper
Skyscraper
Pair of Stools American Cork by Paul Frakl in Brown Wood, 1960s
By Paul Frankl, Johnson Furniture Company
Located in Milano, IT
Pair of stools designed by American designer Paul Frankl in 1960s for the Johnson Furniture Company. The pair of stools are made with a seat in an elegant and resistant cork. While i...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Wood, Cork

High Chest in Silver Cerused Oak with Nickel "X" Fittings by Paul Frankl
By John Stuart Inc., Paul Frankl
Located in New York, NY
This sophisticated high chest was designed by Paul Frankl for the Johnson Furniture Company circa 1950. The chest is a first-rate example of Frankl's midcentury work, which was influ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Oak

Mid-Century Double Dresser with X-Shaped Drawer Pulls
By Paul Frankl
Located in New York, NY
Mid-century double dresser with ten drawers with X-shaped metal drawer pulls (Paul Frankl).  
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Paul Frankl

Materials

Wood, Teak, Walnut

Paul Frankl Tiered Mid-Century Modern Side or Occasional Table for Saltman Brown
By Paul Frankl
Located in Studio City, CA
Elegantly designed and solidly crafted. This piece is from renowned designer Paul Frankl and was manufactured exclusively by Brown Saltman. It would make a beautiful addition to any ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Paul Frankl

Materials

Oak

Large American Mid Century Commode by Paul Frankl, 1950s
By Paul Frankl
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Large American mid century commode by Paul Frankl, 1950s.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Paul Frankl

Materials

Walnut

Paul Frankl for Brown-Saltman Blonde Mahogany End Table, Late 1930s
By Paul Frankl
Located in San Francisco, CA
A professionally refinished late 1930s model 8088 end table in blonde ribbon mahogany by Paul Frankl for Brown-Saltman, as pictured in Emily Genauer’s 1939 book “Modern Interiors - T...
Category

1930s American Art Deco Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Mahogany

Paul Frankl Dining Table
By Paul Frankl
Located in Atlanta, GA
Elegant cork top dining table, designed by Paul Frankl for The Johnson Furniture Company, American, circa 1940s. This table is currently being refinished and can be completed in your...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Mahogany, Cork

  • Paul Frankl Dining Table
  • Paul Frankl Dining Table
  • Paul Frankl Dining Table
  • Paul Frankl Dining Table
H 29.5 in. W 72 in. D 42 in.
Pair of Paul Frankl Ivory Lacquered Nightstands with Brass X Pulls, circa 1950
By Johnson Furniture Company, Paul Frankl
Located in Saint Louis, MO
Everyone loves Paul Frankl furniture. A pillar of design, he created some of the most iconic midcentury pieces of furniture. And here we have a lovely pair of Paul Frankl ivory lacqu...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Brass

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Paul Frankl Sellers

Harveys on Beverly
4.6 / 5
20CDesign.com
4.4 / 5
ABC Modern
4.7 / 5
FRANK LANDAU SELECTED DESIGN OBJECTS & FINE ART, INTERIOR DESIGN
5 / 5
Ponce Berga
5 / 5
Soho Treasures
4.7 / 5
COOCOOU27
4.5 / 5
Century Design Ltd.
5 / 5
High Style Deco
5 / 5

Creators Similar to Paul Frankl

Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Charles Hollis Jones
Johnson Furniture Co.
Winchendon Furniture (Planner Group)

Paul Frankl Furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Paul Frankl Furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. In our Paul Frankl furniture collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 243 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Paul Frankl 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 Henredon Furniture, John Widdicomb Furniture and Tommi Parzinger Furniture. Paul Frankl Furniture prices can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. On Amazon, the price for these items starts at $395 and tops out at $220,000, while pieces like these can sell for $5,500 on average.