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.
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.
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.
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.
Marc Harrison (1936-1998) was an industrial designer from the United States. Harrison sustained a significant brain injury in a sledding accident when he was eleven years old. He had to relearn simple functions like walking and talking as a result of the crash. Harrison gained experience and motivation for his future work as an industrial designer due to this incident and his lengthy recovery.
Elbert Green Hubbard (1856 – 1915) was an American furniture designer. Hubbard met William Morris in 1894 and the following year inspired by Morris’s Kelmscott Press, founded the Raycroft Press’ East Aurora, near Buffalo, New York. He was the founder of the Roycrofters, an Arts and Crafts community; he organized workshops, lectured, and wrote as a highly effective champion of the Arts and Crafts philosophy.
Keith Haring was best known for his graffiti-like painting, initially on the black paper used to cover discontinued billboard advertisements in the New York subway. After after a feverish 1980’s style career of surging popular success and grudging critical attention, Haring died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 31.