Paul T. Frankl (USA, 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.

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Classic Paul Frankl Mirrors for Johnson
By Paul Frankl, Johnson Furniture Co.
By Paul Frankl, Johnson Furniture Co.
Dimensions: W 2 ft. 7.3 in. H 4 ft. 3.3 in.
Dealer Location: Miami, FL
Materials & Techniques: Mirror, Wood
Classic Paul Frankl Mirrors for Johnson
Paul Frankl, Johnson Furniture Co.
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors
Mirror, Wood
From his extensive designs for Johnson Furniture, these mirrors by Paul Frankl are identical except in size. Easily used in countless ways with their simple yet elegant "D" shaped moldi...
Art Deco Deep Round Mirror by Paul Frankl
By Paul Frankl
By Paul Frankl
Dimensions: Dm 2 ft. 4.8 in.
Dealer Location: Stamford, CT
Materials & Techniques: Glass, Wood
Art Deco Deep Round Mirror by Paul Frankl
Paul Frankl
Vintage 1930s American Art Deco Wall Mirrors
Glass, Wood
An Art Deco deep round mirror with beveled glass, framed in silver leaf wood by Paul Frankl.
Paul Frankl for Brown Saltman Cerused Mirror
By Paul Frankl, Brown Saltman
By Paul Frankl, Brown Saltman
Dimensions: W 4 ft. 6 in. H 2 ft. 3.5 in.
Dealer Location: Los Angeles, CA
Materials & Techniques: Mirror, Wood, Ebony
Paul Frankl for Brown Saltman Cerused Mirror
Paul Frankl, Brown Saltman
Vintage 1950s American Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors
Mirror, Wood, Ebony
Mid-Century cerused mirror design by Paul Frankl for Brown Saltman.
Paul Frankl Two Tone Wall Mirror
By Paul Frankl
By Paul Frankl
Dimensions: W 4 ft. 3 in. H 2 ft. 7 in.
Dealer Location: New York City, NY
Materials & Techniques: Mirror, Walnut
Paul Frankl Two Tone Wall Mirror
Paul Frankl
20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors
Mirror, Walnut
1940's two tone walnut mirror by Paul Frankl for Johnson Furniture.
An oak framed wall mirror Paul Frankl for Johnson
Dimensions: W 4 ft. 3 in. H 2 ft. 7 in.
Dealer Location: North Miami, FL
Materials & Techniques: Mirror, Oak
An oak framed wall mirror Paul Frankl for Johnson
Paul Frankl
Vintage 1940s American Mid-Century Modern Wall Mirrors
Mirror, Oak
A large rectangular wall mirror in stained oak frame, designed by Paul Frankl for Johnson's Furniture. Simple and elegant minimalist design. En suite with the pair of chest of drawers.