The term mission furniture was first popularized by Joseph P. McHugh of New York, a furniture manufacturer and retailer. The word mission references the Spanish missions throughout colonial California. The style became increasingly popular following the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo.
Dan Friedman (1945–1995) was a prolific graphic and furniture designer, artist, writer, and educator. Friedman’s work posed a radical challenge to tradition and commodification in design practice. His work is held in the collections of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.
His work is part of the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston MFA and Philadelphia MFA. The ‘Rocking Chair’ became part of Ronald Reagan’s White House arts and crafts collection. Maloof built an approach to woodworking that drew parallels to Shaker and modern Scandinavian styles. Using no nails or metal hardware, he worked almost entirely by hand. One of his rocking chairs sold for $51,000; he married Alfreda Ward in 1948.
Judith Leiber (1921 – 2018) was a prolific designer whose fanciful minaudières had accessorised royalties, first ladies, and film stars, and entered the collections of art the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While her couture handbags—carried by celebrities such as Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert, Björk, and Barbara Walters—are widely regarded as works of art, Leiber preferred the word “artisan” to “artist.”
John Mascheroni is an American furniture and industrial designer. He studied at the Pratt Insitute in Brooklyn New York. He opened his own design office and furniture factory in New York. Mascheroni designed furniture for manufactures in High Point, North Carolina. From 1990, his furniture designs were produced by Swaim and, from 1991, others by Jeffco.
Paul Bacon was not a household name, but anyone who has a passion for books will have seen his works. Bacon was an artist, who used minimal imagery and bold typography to sell famous novels such as, “Catch 22” by Joseph Heller, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest’s and Phillip Roth’s “Portnoy’s complaint?
Cary’s father moved to the Adirondacks area of New York State in the year 1845. In 1874, Brandreth asked Cary to make him 24 chairs with slatted backs, plain turned legs, and splint seats in a traditional style. Cary may have made some of the rustic furniture in the cottages at Brandreth Park.
James Evanson has been at the forefront of the “functional art” movement around the world. His work has travelled worldwide since his first exhibition in 1979 at the Art et Industrie Gallery in New York. For the Memphis Collection in Milan, new work was created just for the occasion. The “Lighthouse” lamps gained international acclaim and became an icon of the 1980s.
Harry Bertoia was a sculptor, printmaker, jeweller, and furniture designer. He was born in San Lorenzo, Udine, and worked in the United States professionally. During World War Two he worked with Ray and Charles Eames on moulded-plywood technology. He worked primarily as a sculptor from the mid-1950s onwards. His sculpture was prominently featured in many of Eero Saarinen’s buildings.
Oscar Onken (1858 – 1948) was an American entrepreneur. He was professionally active in Ohio. Onken was a prominent businessman and philanthropist. Impressed with the Gustav Stickley and Austrian stands at the 1904 St. Louis ‘Louisiana Purchase Exposition,’ he founded The Shop of the Crafts in Cincinnati in 1904.
Herbert Bayer was one of the Bauhaus’s most influential students, teachers, and proponents. Most of Bayer’s photographs come from the decade 1928–38, when he was based in Berlin working as a commercial artist. He designed the show Road to Victory (1942), which would set the course for Steichen’s influential approach to photography.