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Vladimir Kagan Architectural Louvered & Illuminated Room Divider with COA, 1967



An incredibly rare louvered and illuminated room divider in solid walnut floating over a cylindrical brass foot, custom-designed by Vladimir Kagan circa 1967. Six sculptural, marquise-shaped slats are angled at 45 degrees to the frame and flank the light box which houses a single 6-foot fluorescent bulb. Authenticated by and registered with the Vladimir Kagan Design Group, this piece is offered to the collector with all corresponding documents including certificate of authenticity, company letter, related archival photos, and numbered registration plaque. While their archivists have seen similar slatted dividers that Kagan designed (see last image in this listing), they’d not seen one with an incorporated lighting element before and thus feel that this example may well be one-of-a-kind or, at the very least, from a strictly limited run. That said, it seems that this general concept of combining lighting with room partitioning may have first been explored in practice by Kagan in 1963 when he designed the “Room for Total Living” exhibit for Chemstrand (Monsanto) at NYC’s Park Avenue Armory Show, which featured three motorized rosewood panels with built-in lighting strips identical to that of our room divider. Details and photos of this project including those panels can be read/seen in the monograph, The Complete Kagan. This unique design exemplifies both the “decidedly architectural turn” (Kagan’s own words) the designer’s work took during the 1960s and the cutting edge sleekness we reflexively associate with his name. It’s in fine, all original condition with just the right amount of character from age and use, worthy of any important collection. Reference: The Complete Kagan: Vladimir Kagan: A Lifetime of Avant-Garde Design, pg. 140, 156-7 Note that the electrical could be updated to LEDs if the buyer so wishes Available to view in situ at our showroom in Bushwick, Brooklyn. In addition to traditional business hours, we also offer nighttime and extended weekend appointments for your convenience. Please inquire with us directly to schedule a visit.


  • Creator
    Vladimir Kagan (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 82 in. (208.28 cm)Width: 42 in. (106.68 cm)Depth: 6 in. (15.24 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1967
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Normal wear consistent with age and use. Minor, natural bowing to some slats from age.
  • Seller Location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU882614464421

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Brooklyn, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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About the Designer

Vladimir Kagan

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.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 2009
1stDibs seller since 2009
78 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: <1 hour
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