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Knoll Classics Sale

Knoll Classics Sale

 
Eames Hang-it-all
Wassily Chair / Marcel Breuer, 1925
Inspired by the frame of a bicycle and influenced by the constructivist theories of the De Stjil movement, Marcel Breuer was still an apprentice at the Bauhaus when he reduced the classic club chair to its elemental lines and planes, forever changing the course of furniture design.
A champion of the modern movement and protégé of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer is equally celebrated for his achievements in architecture and furniture. Breuer was a student and subsequently a master carpenter at the Bauhaus in the early 1920s. His entire body of work, both architecture and furniture, embodies the driving Bauhaus objective to reconcile art and industry.
 

 

Eames Walnut Stools
Florence Knoll Table / Florence Knoll, 1961
Florence Knoll described her designs the fill-in pieces which had to be provided. "I needed the piece for a job and it wasn't there, so I designed it." While this may have been the motivation for the 1961 Table Desk, the elegant, perfectly proportioned result will be anything but a fill-in piece in your office or dining room.
Born to a baker, and orphaned at age twelve, Florence Schust grew up Saginaw, Michigan. Schust demonstrated an early interest in architecture and was enrolled at the Kingswood School for Girls, adjacent to the Cranbrook Academy of Art. While at Kingswood, Florence befriended Eilel Saarinen, whom she would later study under at Cranbrook. Warmly embraced by the Saarinen family, Florence seeded in Michigan the foundations of her incredible design education and pioneering career. Florence went on to study under some of the greatest 20th century architects, including Gropius, Breuer, and Mies.

 

Nelson Bubble Lamps
Risom Outdoor Lounge Chair / Jens Risom 1943
Described as good, honest furniture design, the Risom Collection helped establish Knoll as an early source of modern design in America. Three-quarters of a century later, selected products from the original collection have been re-engineered for outdoor use. Oiled teak frames and Sunbrella® webbing ready these classics for a life outside.
The first true Knoll designer, Jens Risom joined the young Hans Knoll Furniture Company in the early 1940s as the sole designer of interiors and furniture. Born in Denmark to the well-known architect Sven Risom, Jens worked in Stockholm for one year before graduating from the prestigious Kundstandvaerkerskolen in Copenhagen.

 

Nelson Fireplace Set
Womb Chair with Ottoman / Eero Saarinen, 1948
Eero Saarinen designed the groundbreaking Womb Chair at Florence Knoll's request for "a chair that was like a basket full of pillows - something she could really curl up in." This mid-century classic supports countless positions and offers a comforting oasis of calm—hence the name.
Born to world famous architect and Cranbrook Academy of Art Director Eliel Saarinen and textile artist Loja Saarinen, Eero Saarinen was surrounded by design his whole life. By the time he was in his teens, Eero was helping his father design furniture and fixtures for the Cranbrook campus. After studying sculpture in Paris and architecture at Yale, Saarinen returned to Cranbrook in 1934.
At Cranbrook, Saarinen met Florence Knoll, who at that time was a promising young protégé of Eliel Saarinen. When Florence joined Knoll in the 1940s, she invited Eero to design for the company. Saarinen went on to design many of Knoll's most recognizable pieces, including the Tulip chairs and tables, the Womb chair, and the 70 Series of seating.
 

 

Finn Juhl
Barcelona Chair / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1929
One of the most recognized objects of the last century, and an icon of the modern movement, the Barcelona Chair exudes a simple elegance that epitomizes Mies van der Rohe's most famous maxim–“less is more.” Each Barcelona piece is a tribute to the marriage of modern design and exceptional craftsmanship.
Regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of architecture, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s ‘less-is-more’ approach to design was the gold standard for many generations of modern architecture. His legendary career started humbly at his father’s stonemasonry business, giving him an early appreciation of material and structure. From there he apprenticed with furniture designer Bruno Paul in Berlin before joining the office of Peter Behrens, an architect and painter at the forefront of the modern movement.
 

 

PK Bowl Series
Coffee Table by Alexander Girard / Alexander Girard, 1948
Alexander Girard described himself as "a reasonable and sane functionalist, tempered by irrational frivolity." The Model 108 Coffee Table, introduced to the Knoll catalog in 1948, reflects the playful spirit he injected into the often austere modern vocabulary.
Widely considered one of the greatest colorists and textile designers of the 20th century, Alexander “Sandro” Girard took inspiration from traditional folk art and infused color, whimsy, and humor. He ingeniously mixed color and imagery to create exciting, fresh designs that explored and challenged the interaction of high and low art forms.
In 2004, Girard was the subject of a major retrospective at The Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum, confirming his place in the pantheon of great mid-century designers. Two years later Knoll reintroduced the Model 108 as part of the KnollStudio collection.
 

 

Ikebana Vases
Cyclone Dining Table / Isamu Noguchi, 1957
Initially conceived as a rocking stool, Isamu Noguchi’s playful design caught the attention of Hans Knoll who thought it a perfect complement to the Bertoia wire collection. At the suggestion of Hans Knoll, Noguchi adapted the stool into a small table in 1954, and a full size dining table in 1957. The signature base features chrome-plated steel wires set into a cast-iron, black porcelain-finished foot.
Isamu Noguchi was a pre-med student at Columbia University before he left to pursue his art full time. Noguchi supported himself early on by sculpting portrait busts, leading him to meet famed dance choreographer Martha Graham. The fortuitous meeting led to a 30-year collaboration, with Noguchi designing and transposing mythological elements into abstract form for his visionary sets and costumes for The Martha Graham Dance Company.
In the 1940s, Noguchi began to experiment in furniture design. One of his designs, a rocking stool with a unique wire base, caught the eye of Hans Knoll who introduced the design, with a matching table, in 1955. Using Noguchi’s original drawings, and in collaboration with the Noguchi Foundation, Knoll reintroduced the tables in 2003.

 

Girard Wooden Dolls
Straight Chair / George Nakashima, 1946
The Straight Chair is George Nakashima’s modern interpretation of the traditional Windsor chair. Featuring low-sheen finishes that amplify grain patterns, the Straight Chair showcases Nakashima’s deference to the natural beauty of wood and his legendary craftsmanship.
Mixing Eastern and Western aesthetics, traditional and modern vocabularies, George Nakashima’s work defies typical categorization. He is one of the most recognized and celebrated craftsmen of the 20th century, known primarily for his handmade furniture and sensitivity to material.
In the early 1940s, Hans and Florence Knoll met Nakashima and, impressed by the simple elegance of his aesthetic, added a chair and three tables of his design to the Knoll catalog. The early orders were made in Nakashima’s own studio, before production was moved to East Greenville. The line was discontinued in 1955 when Nakashima opted to produce and market all of his designs himself.

 

Eames Elephant
Bertoia Bird Chair / Harry Bertoia, 1952
The Bird Chair is an astounding study in space, form and function by one of the master sculptors of the last century. Like Saarinen and Mies, Bertoia found sublime grace in an industrial material, elevating it beyond its normal utility into a work of art. Harry Bertoia’s wire chairs are among the most recognized achievements of mid-century modern design and a proud part of the Knoll heritage.
Harry Bertoia was a complete and gifted artist. Knoll historian Brian Lutz once said, “Bertoia’s paintings were better than his sculptures. And his sculptures were better than his furniture. And his furniture was absolutely brilliant.”
On the suggestion of Herbert Matter, who had worked alongside Eames and Bertoia, Florence and Hans traveled to California and encouraged Bertoia to move east and set up his own metal shop in the corner of Knoll’s production facility. Having studied with Bertoia at Cranbrook, Florence was sure that he would produce something brilliant if given the time and space to experiment.
 

 

Eames House Bird
1966 Contour Chaise / Richard Schultz, 1966
Richard Schultz's adjustable chaise lounge has been beckoning people to relax on patios, porches and poolside around the world for over 50 years. And it's never looked more fresh.
Richard Schultz has long been an integral part of the Knoll story. After studying mechanical engineering and design at Iowa State University and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Schultz joined Knoll in 1951. His first assignment was to assist Harry Bertoia on the development and production of the Bertoia Wire Collection. This led to an 18-month assignment in Europe, establishing and supervising production of the Bertoia designs for Knoll subsidiaries and licensees. After returning to the U.S., he joined the Design Development Group at the Knoll factory in East Greenville, PA.
Schultz is best known for his outdoor furniture designs. His graceful Petal Table, introduced in 1960, received the design award from Industrial Design magazine. The steel wire-formed 715 Chaise Lounge, which was introduced the following year to complement the Bertoia collection, was selected in 1963 by the Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection of contemporary furniture.
 

 

Man Ray Chess Set & Board
Platner Dining Table and Arm Chair / Warren Platner, 1966
In 1966, the Platner Collection captured the “decorative, gentle, graceful” shapes that were beginning to infiltrate the modern vocabulary. The iconic dining table, which creates a focal point for any dining room, is created by welding curved steel rods to circular frames, simultaneously serving as structure and ornament. The Arm Chair, which can be used as a dining chair or gues chair, is created by welding curved steel rods to circular and semi-circular frames, simultaneously serving as structure and ornament.
Warren Platner studied at Cornell University, graduating in 1941 with a degree in architecture. He went on to work with legendary architects Raymond Loewy, Eero Saarinen, and I. M. Pei before opening his own architecture practice. Platner made notable architectural contributions throughout his career, including the Georg Jensen Design Center and the Windows on the World restaurant in the World Trade Center ? both in New York City. It was his furniture collection for Knoll, however, that earned Platner worldwide renown.
 

 

Handle Vase
Pollock Executive Chair / Charles Pollock, 1963
Charles Pollock’s 1963 Executive Chair features what he described as “rim technology”— the use of a single aluminum band around the chair’s perimeter to hold the design together, structurally and visually. Fifty years after its introduction, the Pollock Chair continues to exude timeless elegance.
After graduating from Pratt Institute and working with George Nelson, Charles Pollock assembled a portfolio of designs and presented them to Florence Knoll. Planning Unit member Vincent Cafiero saw promise in a leather and steel lounge chair and encouraged Pollock to keep working on the design. The 657 Lounge, as it was introduced in 1961, showed the young designer’s precision handling of line, form, and materials. 

 

 
 

 

 

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