Edward Wormley (1907 – 1995) American furniture designer

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Edward Wormley Sofa
Edward Wormley Sofa

Edward Wormley was an American designer of modern furniture. He worked in the design studio of the Marshall Field department store in Chicago from 1928 to 31.

Work for Dunbar

He worked as a designer for Dunbar Furniture of Indiana in New York from 1931 to 1941, improving the company’s variety of wood and upholstered furniture to appeal to a wide range of interests. He established his own office in New York in 1945, continuing to work with Dunbar on furniture, Alexander Smith on carpets, and others on textiles. Scandinavian and Italian styles influenced his postwar work. The Listen to Me chaise for Dunbar in 1947 was one of his most well-known designs.

Good Design Exhibitions

Between 1950 and 1955, Wormley’s presence in the Good Design Exhibitions organised by the Museum of Modern Art and the Merchandise Mart catapulted him to a respectable position alongside more cutting-edge designers such as Bertoia, Nelson, and Eames. Wormley was well-versed in the fundamentals of Modernism, yet he never confined himself to a single worldview. His furniture embodied a synthesis of historical design and twentieth-century innovation that appealed to today’s collectors.

Wormley’s tables

Wormley’s occasional tables for Dunbar include the tile-topped tables he designed for the Janus series in 1957, which were a collaboration between the Modern production design aesthetic and Tiffany and Otto Natzler’s tile traditions. Dunbar’s dining tables, stacking tables, and occasional tables have all been popular at auction. Still, none have achieved the same level of success as these examples.


Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing. https://amzn.to/3ElmSlL

Wikipedia contributors. (2019, June 17). Edward Wormley. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:27, September 17, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Edward_Wormley&oldid=902187039

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