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Early Florence Knoll Credenzas for Knoll Head Office

About

Florence Knoll for Knoll, sideboards, ebonized wood, metal, cane, United States, 1961. These sideboards are designed by Florence Knoll for Knoll International and were meant for the headquarters of Knoll in Italy. The credenzas are executed with two large caned doors with leather handles, an ebonized frame and metal feet. The design is part of the early Florence Knoll designs. Her early designs were in her eyes only practical, functional fill-ins for office spaces. She claimed to use her star designers for the eye catching pieces and these cabinets were designed because she felt they were necessary to make office spaces function and practical. Nowadays, the modesty and simplicity of these pieces make them timeless and perhaps more suited to the contemporary interior than many of the designs of that same era. Florence Knoll (1917) was trained as an architect and had a sense of style from a very young age. During her schooltime at Cranbrook, Eliel Saarinen (then the headmaster) and his family included her in their family. In 1936 she met Alvar Aalto and was trained by Marcel Breuer, Walter Gropius and (as if the long list of eminen designers is not long enough) Mies van der Rohe. This meant that although she was barely out of her teens, she was educated by the best of the European modernists. When she arrived in New York she worked on interior projects (being the only female) which is how she came to know Hans Knoll. When Florence joined Knoll, the planning unit started. Florence also made sure that the designs where more 'American Modernist' instead of Scandinavian, When Hans Knoll died she took over and did it with the utmost skill and professionality. Her long list of architect friends designed many famous pieces yet her own imprint on the company including her designs in what can be called 'humanist modernism' is what truly had the greatest impact. Knoll International was founded in New York by the 26 year old German Hans Knoll (1914-1955) in 1938. Hans' father, Walter Knoll was a true modernist and furniture manufacturer who had a reputation for quality. When Hans Knoll died at a young age his wife Florence Knoll took over and under her influence the company flourished and created its best designs. She designed and led the company where she cooperated with talented designers such as Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Schultz and Harry Bertoia.

Details

  • Condition
    Good
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 29.14 in. x W 77.17 in. x D 15.75 in.H 74 cm x W 196 cm x D 40 cm
  • Seller Location
    Waalwijk, NL
  • Seller Reference Number
    9116_9402
  • Reference Number
    LU933113527372
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About Knoll (Manufacturer)

As a company that produced many of the most famous and iconic furniture designs of the 20th century, Knoll was a chief influence in the rise of modern design in the United States. Led by Florence Knoll, the firm would draw stellar talents such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen into its compass. Their work would help change the face of the American home and office.


     The company was formed in 1938 by the German immigrant Hans Knoll. He first worked with his fellow ex-pat, the Danish designer Jens Risom, who created furniture with flowing lines made of wood. While Risom served in World War II, in 1943 Knoll met his future wife, Florence Schust. She had studied and worked with eminent emigré leaders of the Bauhaus, including Mies, Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. She won Knoll over with Bauhaus notions of industrial arts, and an aesthetic that featured flat and tubular metal frames and angular forms. When Hans died in a car crash in 1955, Florence Knoll was appointed head of the company. It was as much through her holistic approach to design—a core division of the firm was dedicated to planning office systems—as Knoll furnishings themselves that she brought about the sleek and efficient transformation of the American workplace.


     Today, classic Knoll furnishings remain staples of modern design collections and decors. A history of modern design is written in pieces such as Mies’ elegant Barcelona Chair, Saarinen’s pedestal Tulip chair, Breuer’s tubular steel Wassily chair and the grid-patterned Diamond chair by Harry Bertoia. As you can see from the items on the following pages, these designs and others have become timeless emblems of the progressive spirit and sleek sophistication of the best of Modernism.

About the Seller

4.7 / 5
Vetted
Recognized
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2012
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Associations:
20th Century Specialists
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