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Swid Powell Furniture

The New York City–based tableware company Swid Powell produced some of the most distinctive china and silver of the 1980s in collaboration with international architects and designers. It enjoyed renewed attention in 2007, when the Yale University Art Gallery mounted the exhibition “The Architect’s Table: Swid Powell and Postmodern Design,” celebrating the donation to its collection of the company’s papers.

Swid Powell was established in 1982 by Nan Swid and Addie Powell, who met while working at the modernist furniture company Knoll. Their idea was to translate the aesthetics of postmodern design from the skyscraper to the dining table, and they brought into their preliminary discussions nine prominent architects. Among these were Philip Johnson, Stanley Tigerman and Richard Meier, all of whom expressed enthusiasm about making their designs accessible beyond the small group with the funds to commission buildings from them.

The first Swid Powell collection was launched in 1984, accompanied by a bold, graphic print campaign in keeping with the era’s advertising trends. The company’s best-known collaboration was with Robert Venturi’s Philadelphia-based firm, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, whose patterns — particularly the floral design Grandmother inspired by a tablecloth Venturi saw at the home of a colleague's grandmother — adorned Swid Powell porcelain as well as furniture and clothing.

The firm also partnered with architect Richard Meier, whose geometric designs were inspired in part by those of Josef Hoffmann and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Swid Powell also worked with Arata Isosaki, Ettore Sottsass, Zaha Hadid and George Sowden, creating products that incorporated the bright, saturated colors and popular and historical references, like Classical columns, that animated postmodern design in the 1980s. The Chicago Blue china pattern designed for Swid Powell by the firm Gwathmey Siegel references the distinctive patterns of Frank Lloyd Wright’s leaded glass windows. As you will see in the examples below, Swid Powell continued to produce fine, fashionable homewares throughout the decade and beyond.

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Creator: Swid Powell
Dealer: Chez Camille
Richard Meier for Swid Powell Stainless Steel Bowl/Centerpiece
By Swid Powell, Richard Meier
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Beautiful post modern design by the well known architect Richard Meier. Measure: 10 inches.
Category

Late 20th Century Italian Post-Modern Swid Powell Furniture

Materials

Stainless Steel

Ettore Sottsass Candelstick / Candle Holder, Silver Plate for Swid Powell
By Swid Powell, Ettore Sottsass
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This is one icon of Post Modern design by the well known architect Ettore Sottsass.
Category

1980s Italian Post-Modern Vintage Swid Powell Furniture

Materials

Silver Plate

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Swid Powell furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Swid Powell 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 Swid Powell furniture, although silver editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original furniture by Swid Powell were created in the modern style in europe during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Richard Meier, Alessi, and Marco Zanini. Prices for Swid Powell furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $175 and can go as high as $8,950, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $1,200.

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