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Pair of 5015 Side Tables by Paul Frankl, circa 1951 For Sale
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Pair of 5015 Side Tables by Paul Frankl, circa 1951

About

Paul Frankl for Johnson Furniture, pair of side tables, cork and mahogany, United States, circa 1951 This pair of side tables is designed by the Austrian-American modernist designer Paul Frankl. The mahogany end tables belong to a range of furniture designed in 1950. The top is made of bleached cork. This line of furniture put Frankl once again in the national spotlight after his popularity had declined in the pre war years. Johnson Furniture Company was one of the most respected furniture manufacturers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which was then the centre of American furniture industry. Three brothers from Sweden founded the company three decades before. Their 'Dynamique' line, based on French Art Moderne and Frankl's scyscraper designs, became the first complete set of mass-produced set of furniture made in the United States. The Johnson company focussed mainly on the conservative, middle-class market. Paul Frankl was a perfect match for this production company as he spent the decade before designing for the Hollywood elite. Paul T. Frankl (1886-1958) was a furniture and interior designer born in Austria. At the age of 28 he moved to the United States. It was here that Frankl found his true aesthetic voice and style. Frankl was pre-eminently an advocate of the American Modernism. He believed in a new, optimist world. Frankl witnessed two World Wars and aimed to create a new, brave and upward new world order through his design. He has written extensively on the subject of Modern architecture and design and skyscrapers where one of his trademark features. The new structure of the skyscraper, rising up into the sky broke completely with the constraints of the past. The towering architectural form expressed the excitement and optimism of a new era.

Details

  • Creator
  • Of the Period
    Mid-Century Modern
  • Place of Origin
    Virgin Islands, United States
  • Date of Manufacture
    1951
  • Dimensions
    H 21.07 in. x W 29.93 in. x D 17.92 in.H 53.5 cm x W 76 cm x D 45.5 cm
  • Seller Location
    Waalwijk, NL
  • Seller Reference Number
    45010715
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference Number
    LU933117955052
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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.

About the Seller

4.8 / 5

Established in 2007, Morentz has a team of approximately 55 restorers, upholsterers, interior advisers and art historians, making it a gallery, workshop and upholstery studio, all in one. Every day, a carefully selected array of 20th-century furniture arrives from all over the world at the firm’...

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Vetted
Diamond
Recognized
Associations: 20th Century Specialists
1stdibs seller since 2012
Typical response time: 3 hours
Located in Waalwijk, NL
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