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Vladimir Kagan “Serpentine” Sofa, United States 1950s

Documentation Documented elsewhere (similar item)
Origin United States
Period 1950-1979
Materials Wood, Fabric
W. 280 in; H. 80 in; D. 115 in;
W. 711.2 cm; H. 203.2 cm; D. 292.1 cm;
Seat H. 40 in;
Seat H. 101.6 cm;
Condition Good. Recently reupholstered in a premium fabric.
Creation Date 1950s
Description This is a beautiful “Model 150BS” sculptural sofa by the world-famous designer, Vladimir Kagan. This sofa shows Kagan’s skill to fuse sleek design with the trappings of comfort.

With a clean white bouclé fabric upholstery, this Serpentine soda has a welcoming presence that exudes high quality craftsmanship and a style that is very characteristic of Kagan. In line with the “form follows function” principle, the walnut base provides a sturdy and stable appeal, while the design guarantees comfort. This sofa’s pouf is left-facing.

This model was designed by Vladimir Kagan for Directional, USA in 1956, and remains one of his most iconic designs. It emphasizes the organic, sculptural form, reflected in the name “serpentine” as well. As Kagan himself described, his works are “vessels for the human body”.

About the designer:
Vladimir Kagan was one of the most enduring designers of modern furniture with a career that has spanned over sixty years. He started designing in 1946 and by the early fifties, his innovative sculptured designs created a new look in American furniture. Today, his designs are spearheading creative designs for hotels, furniture, textiles and home furnishings. Vladimir Kagan is among the most important furniture designers of the 20th century. Furniture designed by him in the forties, fifties and sixties have become icons of Modernity and is viewed as the creative grandfather of a whole new generation of designers.

Born in Worms on the Rhine, Germany in 1927, Vladimir Kagan came to the United States in 1938. His earliest focus was on painting and sculpture but in his formative years he became exceedingly attracted to architecture and design. He studied Architecture at Columbia University and in 1947 joined his father, Illi Kagan, a master cabinetmaker, to work in his woodworking shop and learn furniture making from the very basics.

His style, inspired by everything from antiques and nature to the Bauhaus, emphasizes comfort and functionality. Early commissions included the Delegate's Cocktail Lounges for the first United Nations Headquarters in Lake Success N.Y. (1947-48). In 1948 he opened his first shop in New York on East 65th Street and moved to fashionable 57th Street in 1950. His clients were luminaries in the world of art, theatre, music and industry. He was inducted in the Interior Designer Hall of Fame in 2009, 62 years after he started designing and producing furniture.

His prize-winning designs have been published in books and magazines internationally and are in the permanent collections of the V&A London, the Vitra Design Museum and Die Neue Samlung in Germany as well as in the most prominent museums in the United States.~H.
Styles / Movements Mid Century, Modern
Book References The Complete Kagan: A Lifetime of Avant-Garde Design, Kagan, pg. 70-71, 207
Incollect Reference Number 364001
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