Spotlight on Armchair Genius - Page 2

CA-Modern’s ‘Unsung Masters’ series puts focus on obscure MCM furniture designers
Fridays on the Homefront
Unsung: Bay Area-based designers Muriel Coleman and Luther Conover.
Fridays on the Homefront
Planner Group Series desk by Paul McCobb.
Fridays on the Homefront
Unsung: Milo Baughman (left) and Paul T. Frankl—from scarce to mass-produced.

"Both levels are of course enjoyable, both levels are good to look at," he said. "Either way, you're getting the beauty of good design. With all those people, I think either way you're going to win."

To be sure, several of our masters did work for Drexel, Howard Miller, George Nelson, Brown Saltman, and other major manufacturers of the day. Alternatively, two Bay Area-based designers in the story, Muriel Coleman and Luther Conover, produced most or all of their designs locally.

Several of our unsung designers created pieces in collaboration with designers whose names went up in lights while theirs remained virtually unknown. Count Charlotte Perriand and Alexander Girard among these undervalued artists. Perriand helped Le Corbusier invent the chaise lounge, while Charles and Ray Eames used numerous fabrics designed by Girard in their classic furniture.

"Over the last four or five years of collecting, I turned to being super-interested in Girard. He's my favorite!" enthused Bravo of the designer known to friends as 'Sandro.'

Somewhat like the theme of the 'Unsung Masters' series itself, Bravo noted that fabric design for furniture has "always been a secondary thought." Because of Girard's mastery, however, "there's a ton of him out there," said Bravo.

To learn more about Frankl, Baughman, Coleman, Conover, Perriand, Girard, and all the others—and begin to sharpen your skills to identify their designs that may be up for grabs in the world around you—check out 'Unsung Masters of the Mid-Century' in the new fall '17 CA-Modern. Or click here for a PDF version to read now.