Adrian Pearsall Brutalist Hanging Disc Bar for Craft Associates
About the Item
- Dimensions:Height: 12 in (30.48 cm)Diameter: 48 in (121.92 cm)
- Style:Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:1970s
- Condition:Additions or alterations made to the original: There is a custom sturdy two tiered cleat for hanging of the bar. Wear consistent with age and use. Conserved, well cared for vintage condition, ready to hang.
- Seller Location:West Palm Beach, FL
- Reference Number:Seller: 88901stDibs: LU2592334166012
Adrian Pearsall designed some of the most exuberant and expressive American furniture of the 1950s and ’60s. For verve and vivacity of form, he surpasses even Vladimir Kagan — whose work is the emblem of swinging, sexy mid-20th century modernism. Pearsall gave his imagination free rein, and his flamboyant, eye-catching styles are icons of what has become known as “Atomic Age” design.
Pearsall studied architectural engineering at the University of Illinois before opening his Pennsylvania furniture company, Craft Associates, in 1952, and that training shows in many designs. A Pearsall trademark, for example, is a lounge chair with an exceptionally tall, trapezoidal back, which give the pieces a skyscraper-like silhouette. Pearsall also had a talent for so-called Gondola sofas — long, low-slung pieces with upswept ends. Many of Pearsall’s sofas and chairs are supported not by legs, but on gently arced walnut skids.
Pearsall also had a gift for tables, in particular glass-topped side tables and coffee tables with frames that have the look of an Alexander Calder stabile. As you will see from the offerings on 1stDibs, Adrian Pearsall had flair, and his work adds an attention-getting, sculptural exclamation point to any décor.
In its inaugural days, iconic mid-century modern furniture brand Craft Associates was largely the work of founder and forward-thinking designer Adrian Pearsall and his wife, Dorie. The pair assembled sexy, stylish furniture in their Pennsylvania basement that they later sold from the back of a truck to the era’s marquee department stores in Philadelphia and New York City.
The New York–born Pearsall (1925–2011) served in the Navy before earning his architectural engineering degree from the University of Illinois in 1950. He abandoned architecture after only a couple of years and turned instead to furniture design, opening Craft Associates in 1952 to sell his sophisticated living room seating, dining room furnishings and more. Flush with dynamic angles and clean lines, Pearsall’s sculptural, expressive designs — coffee tables, luxurious lounge chairs and more — helped define the style of the Atomic Age. With the help of Dorie and working in partnership with his brother Richard, Pearsall oversaw the expansion of Craft Associates into a leading employer of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with popular furniture including architecturally striking tables as well as plush beanbag chairs.
From Craft, there was Pearsall’s low-slung Gondola sofa, which embraces the sitter with its enveloping, geometrically rich form, his range of glass-topped tables — most boasting provocatively shaped wood slabs that serve as bases — as well as his skinny, high-backed upholstered walnut armchairs. Pearsall drew on his background in architecture for the organic and eye-catching structures of these pieces in addition to his larger scale work. One of his biggest projects was the complete design of his family’s 10,000-square-foot Pennsylvania home in Forty Fort, which boasted an indoor pool, sauna, tennis court and ice cream bar.
After growing his business to 800 employees, Pearsall sold Craft Associates in 1968 to Lane Furniture, which continued producing his pieces into the late 1970s before halting production. With business partner John Graham, Pearsall established a new company, Comfort Designs, in the 1970s, while also devoting time to his lifelong hobbies of sailing and restoring classic yachts.
A company called New Craft Associates revived Pearsall’s brand’s name, referencing mid-century-era furniture design in its current projects while not formally associated with Pearsall or his family. Restoration Hardware has also reissued some of his Craft Associates designs, with Pearsall and his company’s distinctive furniture remaining popular statement pieces adaptable to any home.
Find a range of vintage Craft Associates furniture on 1stDibs.
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