Tommi Parzinger

American, 1903 - 1981
Born in Munich in 1903, Tommi Parzinger studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule—a specialized school focusing on art and craft—before embarking on a career as a freelance designer. Parzinger, who designed furniture, ceramics, lighting, textiles, lamps, and more, moved to New York in 1932, where he landed a job designing porcelain, glassware and furnishings for Rena Rosenthal, a pioneering retailer who helped introduce the American public to European Modernism. In 1939, After a stint with Charak of Boston, Parzinger formed his own company. A high-style Modernist, Parzinger favored luxurious materials, including rich woods, lacquer, and polished metals, as well as simple, elegant forms. Parzinger’s glamorous yet refined aesthetic earned him a number of A-list clients, including Marilyn Monroe, Billy Baldwin, the du Pont family, and the Rockefellers. During his career, Tommi Parzinger furniture, lamps and design partnered with a number of furniture companies, including Reed and Barton and Lightolier. During the last fifteen years of his life, Parzinger moved away from furniture design to focus on Expressionist painting. He died in 1981 at the age of 78.
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