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Vladimir Kagan Furniture

Vladimir Kagan (USA, 1927–2016)
Vladimir Kagan (USA, 1927–2016)

The pioneers of modern furniture design in America in the mid-20th century all had their moments of flamboyance: Charles and Ray Eames produced the startling, biomorphic La Chaise; George Nelson’s firm created the Marshmallow sofa; Edward Wormley had his decadent Listen to Me chaise. But no designer of the day steadily offered works with more verve and dynamism than Vladimir Kagan. While others, it seems, designed with suburban households in mind, Kagan aimed to suit the tastes of young, sophisticated city-dwellers. With signature designs that feature sleekly curved frames and others that have dramatic out-thrust legs, Kagan made furniture sexy.

Kagan’s father was a Russian master cabinetmaker who took his family first to Germany (where Vladimir was born) and then to New York in 1938. After studying architecture at Columbia University, Kagan opened a design firm at age 22 and immediately made a splash with his long, low and sinuous Serpentine sofa. Furniture lines such as the Tri-symmetric group of glass-topped, three-legged tables and the vivacious Contours chairs soon followed.

Kagan’s choices of form and materials evolved through subsequent decades, embracing lucite, aluminum and burl-wood veneers. By the late 1960s, Kagan was designing austere, asymmetrical cabinets and his Omnibus group of modular sofas and chairs. For all his aesthetic élan, Kagan said that throughout his career, his touchstone was comfort. “A lot of modern furniture was not comfortable. And so comfort is: form follows function. The function was to make it comfortable,” he once commented. “I created what I called vessels for the human body.”

A diverse group of bodies have made themselves at home with Kagan designs. Among the famous names who commissioned and collected his designs are Marilyn Monroe, Gary Cooper, Andy Warhol, David Lynch, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and firms such as Gucci and Giorgio Armani. His work is in numerous museum collections, including those of the Victoria & Albert and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Because of its idiosyncrasy, Kagan’s work did not lend itself to mass-production. Kagan never signed on with any of the major furniture-making corporations, and examples of his designs are relatively rare. As you will see from the offerings on 1stDibs, even decades after their conception, Kagan pieces still command the eye, with their freshness, energy, sensuality and wit.

Iconic Designs from Vladimir Kagan
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Serpentine Sofa
Serpentine Sofa
Omnibus I
Omnibus I
Omnibus III
Omnibus III
Erica Chaise
Erica Chaise
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Early and Rare Dresser by Vladimir Kagan
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Atlanta, GA
Designed by Vladimir Kagan and manufactured by Kagan-Dreyfuss Inc, New York, this rarely seen model of triple dresser features an elegant bleached mahogany exterior with metal legs a...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Vladimir Kagan Furniture

Materials

Stainless Steel

Early and Rare Armoire by Vladimir Kagan
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Atlanta, GA
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Vladimir Kagan Furniture

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Stainless Steel, Hardwood

Fantastic Sectional Omnibus Sofa by Vladimir Kagan
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Atlanta, GA
Category

1970s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Vladimir Kagan Furniture

Sloane Sectional Sofa by Vladimir Kagan
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Atlanta, GA
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Vladimir Kagan Furniture

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Fabric, Foam, Wood

Early Walnut and Marble Curvy Coffee Table by Vladimir Kagan
By Vladimir Kagan
Located in Atlanta, GA
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Vladimir Kagan Furniture

Materials

Marble, Walnut

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Serpentine Sofa Vladimir Kagan for Directional
By Vladimir Kagan
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A large serpentine sofa designed by Vladimir Kagan for Directional, circa 1970s. The free-form sofa features a partial back rest supported by two upholstered pedestal feet and a medi...
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Cubist Glass Top Dining Table or Desk by Vladimir Kagan
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Lucite Lounge Chair Vladimir Kagan
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A fantastic cubist lounge chair constructed in Lucite with exposed brass hardware, designed by Vladimir Kagan, circa 1970s. Modern and striking with contrasting tiger skin print upho...
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Set of Six Dining Chairs by Vladimir Kagan for Grosfeld House
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Dining Table with Extension Leaves by Vladimir Kagan for Grosfeld House
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A walnut dining table with extension leaves designed by Vladimir Kagan for Grosfeld House circa 1950s. The table exhibits a minimalistic elegance with subtly sculpted legs and thin t...
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Serpentine Sofa Designed by Vladimir Kagan for Directional
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