Vladimir Kagan

German, 1927 - 2016

Thanks to a career that spanned nearly seventy years, Vladimir Kagan is considered one of the most prolific designers of the twentieth century. Born in Germany in 1927, Kagan, the son Illi Kagan, a master cabinetmaker, emigrated to the United States in 1938. After studying Architecture at Columbia University, Kagan started working at his father’s woodworking shop, where he learned the fundamentals of furniture making. Kagan opened his first shop in New York in 1948 and attracted many high-profile clients, including Marilyn Monroe, Gary Cooper, and Andy Warhol. Known for his flowing, biomorphic designs, Kagan brought a distinct sensuality to modern design. Some of his most iconic designs include the Serpentine Sofa and his curvilinear rocking chairs. Kagan’s works are in the permanent collections of a number of major museums, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany. Kagan died in 2016 at the age of 88. He remained actively involved in his company throughout his life.  


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