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1940s Paul Frankl Style Streamline Moderne Lounge Chair in Two-Tone Ultrasuede


Inspired by Paul Frankl's 1939 speed chair, this early 1940s lounge chair has a great footprint and presence. Upholstered in cream and gray pale ultrasuedes, the gray with ostrich skin impression with dark brass nailhead trim. Masculine, comfortable and strong, a great anchor chair. Measurements: Front width 35 inches back width 30 inches 35 inches deep Overall height 28 inches back cushion 31 inches high Seat at 18 inches high.


  • Period
  • Condition
    Excellent. Newly reupholstered..
  • Dimensions

    H 28 in. x W 35 in. x D 35 in.

    H 71.12 cm x W 88.9 cm x D 88.9 cm

  • Seat height
    18 in. (45.72 cm)
  • Seller location
    Miami, FL
  • Reference number

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About Paul Frankl (Designer)

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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