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$ 4,988

Rattan Lounge Chair by Paul Frankl, United States 1940s

Documentation Ample Provenance
Origin United States
Period 1920-1949
Materials premium fabric, bamboo rattan
Dimensions
W. 29.33 in; H. 29.92 in; D. 34.25 in;
W. 74.5 cm; H. 76 cm; D. 87 cm;
Seat H. 13.78 in;
Seat H. 35 cm;
Condition Good. In good vintage condition. Wear consistent with age and use. Recently reupholstered in a premium fabric.
Description This highly distinctive bamboo rattan chair was designed by the Austrian Art Deco and mid-century furniture designer and architect, Paul T. Frankl.

Without a doubt, the solid bamboo frame is the stand-out characteristic of this lounge chair. For their resemblance in shape, the arms are often called “pretzel arms”, and showcase the manufacturer’s skill. The masterfully woven rattan gives this chair a tropical look, complimented by the loose seat and back cushions that add comfort and cosiness to the frame. From every angle, this chair is visually arresting. From the back to the front view, the curves and geometric design has a distinct designer edge, while keeping the warm and earthly look.

This lounge chair has a timeless look, and while many derivatives of the design have been done, Frankl’s design remains unmatched to this day. The well thought out angles allow full relaxation of the back, since the body is well-supported by the frame. Bamboo cannot bend as easily as cane, and the condition of this chair also shows the advantages of the material. The craftsmanship of the manufacturer is clearly visible in the woven bamboo patterns and joinery techniques.

Condition:
In good vintage condition. Wear consistent with age and use. Recently reupholstered in a premium fabric.

Dimensions:
29.33 in W x 34.25 in D x 29.92 in H; Seat height 13.77 in
74.5 cm W x 87 cm D x 76 cm H; Seat height 35 cm

About the designer:
Paul Theodore Frankl (October 14, 1886 – March 21, 1958), an Art Deco furniture designer and maker, architect, painter and writer from Vienna, Austria, was the son of a wealthy real estate speculator.

After Frankl completed his architectural studies at the Berlin Polytechnic, he travelled, spending time in Berlin and Copenhagen before arriving in the United States in April 1914. He settled in New York City and brought with him an outsider’s fresh perspective and an enthusiasm for forging a uniquely American design aesthetic. Frankl began his career as an architect and only later switched to designing and creating fine art. In 1934, he moved from New York City to Los Angeles, where he taught at USC and at the Chouinard Art Institute. During the years between the two world wars, Frankl - more than any other designer - helped shape the distinctive look of American Modernism.

In the 1920s, he introduced his celebrated “skyscraper style” (before turning to metal furnishings in the 1930s). Frankl opened Frankl Galleries on 48th Street, naming his company Skyscraper Furniture, which became an epicentre of Modernism in the United States. The shop included modern textiles and wallpapers imported from Europe. The designer and painter’s works were exhibited around the US, with solo art shows in New York City's Knoedler Gallery in 1931, and Los Angeles's Stendahl Gallery in 1944.

Frankl eventually relocated to Los Angeles, where he opened a gallery on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Celebrities of the era, such as Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Walter Huston and Alfred Hitchcock, became regular clients at his gallery.

Frankl was a writer as well, and wrote several books and magazine articles about the Modern Style and was its most vocal proponent. He established the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC) in 1928. He later designed production pieces for Brown Saltman of California and Johnson Furniture Company of Grand Rapids, incorporating an early use of biomorphic designs and novel materials such as cork veneer. His style continuously evolved, from early skyscraper furniture to relaxed and casual designs favoured by the Hollywood elite in the 1930s to manufactured pieces for the mass market in the 1950s. In 1934 he moved to Los Angeles where he taught at the University of Southern California and the Chouinard Art Institute. ~H.
Styles / Movements Art Deco, Mid Century, Modern
Dealer Reference Number 20200349
Incollect Reference Number 403084
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