American, 1922 - 2003
A largely self-taught furniture designer, Harvey Probber rose to prominence during the mid-twentieth century and is credited with inventing sectional (or modular) seating in the 1940s. Born in Brooklyn in 1922, Probber’s interest in design was piqued while he was still in high school and working part-time at a furniture store. Probber would spend his days sketching and soon began selling designs to furniture manufacturers. In 1945, after a few years working as a designer for Trade Upholstery, Probber established his own company, Harvey Probber, Inc. Probber favored simple and elegant forms enlivened by exotic woods, stunning hardware, and eye-catching finishes, such as lacquer and sumptuous upholstery. Probber closed his furniture company in 1986. He died in 2003 at the age of 80. While not a household name during his lifetime, Probber’s work is highly sought after today thanks to the increased interest in the mid-century furniture. The furniture manufacturer M2L has exclusive right to reproduce Probber’s designs, including seating, tables, and more.
Submitted on 06/01/16 by Brittany Good