Best known as a sculptor and furniture designer, Harry Bertoia was born in San Lorenzo, Udine, Italy. In 1928 he began taking drawing classes in Italy before immigrating first to Canada, then to Detroit in 1930. He received a scholarship to the School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts in 1936 and a year later was awarded a teaching scholarship at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. There he taught metalworking from 1937 to 1942 and then graphics for one year. In 1943 Bertoia moved to Los Angeles to work as a furniture designer. He also took welding classes at Santa Monica City College and in 1947 created his first welded sculptures. During this period Bertoia became an American citizen. His employer, Knoll Associates, introduced the Bertoia Collection of furniture in 1952. The following year he received his first commission for a large-scale sculpture for the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. Bertoia subsequently resigned from Knoll Associates to concentrate on his sculpture. His distinguished work brought him other major commissions for the Massachussetts Institute of Technology Chapel, Lambert Airport in St. Louis, Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., and the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Virginia. Beginning in the 1940s, Bertoia exhibited extensively. Among his many awards were the Gold Medal given by the Architectural League of New York (1955-56), the Fine Arts Medal from the Pennsylvania Association of the American Institute of Architects (1963), and an honorary doctorate from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Breuer, Marcel, Hungarian-American architect, designer, and teacher, who helped establish the functionalist principles underlying the International style. Breuer was born in Pécs, Hungary, and studied at the Bauhaus school of design in Weimar, Germany. He practiced architecture in Berlin until the rise of the Nazi Party, fleeing to England in 1933 and then to the United States in 1937. There he helped develop the influential School of Architecture at Harvard University. During the 1950s and 1960s Breuer designed a number of prominent buildings in the United States and Europe. His buildings are generally composed of severe blocks in rough, unfinished stone or concrete and wood.
At 4.29 p.m. on 9th February, 1927 Eduard-Wilfrid Buquet field his patent for parts of this lamp, particularly the flexible joints, at the Ministère du Commerce et de l’Industrie in Paris. Various versions were produced until 1940’s. Although little is known about Buquet we do know that he produced this lamp himself and probably designed it as well. We had to modify certain details for technical reasons, namely the interior of the flexible joints and the stand, which used to be made of wood. Since the small reflector will only take a small holder, we have equipped the lamp with halogen 50 Watt. The transformer is housed in the stand, which is thus made of metal. Virtually all parts have to be handmade.
The French architect and designer Pierre Chareau first came to public notice through the work he exhibited at the Salon dAutomne and the Société des ArtistesDécorateurs after the First World War. He contributed the study of the Ambassade Francaise at the Paris 1925 exhibition and subsequently divided his time between furniture design and architectural works, including the Beauvallon Golf Club (1927), the interior of the Grand Hotel de Tours (1929) and his Maison de Verre (1928-31), so called because of an innovative use of glass tiles on the exterior. He was a member of the Union des Artistes Modernes from its inception in 1930. His chair designs of the early 1920s show a preference for undecorated ample rounded forms, executed in highly polished woods - mahogany, walnut, oak, ash or maple - with rich upholstery. Later in the decade he began to experiment with fumiture using metal frames for public commissions such as bars, hotels, and clubs. His designs for chairs, stools, tables and cupboards in wood and metal received much praise from contemporary publications for their functional approach and combination of elegance and technical ingenuity.
In 1887 Le Corbusier was born as Charles-Edouard Jeanneret in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland). He went to an Art School to become a watch engraver in this centre of Swiss watch industry. However, his teacher, L'Eplattenier, persuaded him to become an architect. After having had problems with Schwob he decided to leave Switzerland for France and to adopt the name Le Corbusier. He swore never to come back to Switzerland. After the World War I he totally changed his style to help build up France. This is where he developed the new construction method that he called 'Plan Libre.' He allowed himself some liberty for the first time when designing Ronchamp in 1950. Often he worked together with his nephew Pierre Jeanneret. Undoubtedly one of his greatest works is the design of the city of Chandigar (India). This project included the design of all the public buildings for this city. In 1965 he died while swimming near his Cabanon in Saint Martin (the south of France).
Eames, Charles (1907-1978), American architect and designer, best known for his seminal formfitting designs for chairs. He studied architecture under Eliel Saarinen and in 1940 collaborated with Eero Saarinen in designing a chair that won first prize in the organic furniture competition sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This chair, with a molded plywood shell, foam-rubber padding, and innovative rubber-weld joints, unfortunately proved too expensive for mass manufacture, but Eames continued to pursue his goal of creating an artistically valid design that could also be produced by modern mass-production techniques. In collaboration with his wife, Ray (Kaiser) Eames, he succeeded in 1946 with an elegantly simple chair consisting of a molded plywood back and seat, mounted on a tubular metal frame; this design became the prototype for much mass-production seating of the 1950s and '60s. The Eamses' most famous later design was a luxurious leather-covered reclining armchair with a matching molded ottoman. For their house (1949) in Santa Monica, California, they designed practical prefabricated elements—doors, windows, and walls—with which they hoped to popularise the construction of well-designed mass-production housing.
Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo,(May 11, 1871–May 3, 1949), son of the painter Mariano Fortuny y Marsal, was a Spanish fashion designer who opened his couture house in 1906 and continued until 1946. "Mrs. Condé Nast wearing one of the famous Fortuny tea gowns. This one has no tunic but is finely pleated, in the Fortuny manner, and falls in long lines, closely following the figure, to the floor." Fortuny was born to an artistic family in Granada, Spain. His father, a genre painter, died when Fortuny was three years old and his mother, daughter of another famous painter, Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, moved the family to Paris, France. It became apparent at a young age that Fortuny was a talented artist, as he, too, showed a talent for painting. The family moved again in 1889 to Venice. As a young man, Fortuny traveled throughout Europe seeking out artists he admired, among them the German composer Richard Wagner. Fortuny became quite varied in his talents, some of them including painting, photography, sculpting, architecture, etching and even theatrical stage lighting. In 1897, he met the woman he would marry, Henriette Negrin, in Paris. He died in his home in Venice and was buried in the Campo Verano in Rome. His work was a source of inspiration to the French novelist Marcel Proust.
On August 9. 1878, Eileen Gray was born to an aristocratic family in Enniscorthy, a small market town in south-eastern Ireland, and spent her childhood years there. As a young adult, in order to develop her artistic sensibilities, she entered the Slade School for Fine Arts in London and from there moved to Paris where she would spend most of her working life. Paris at the turn of the century was a creative mecca for visual and performance artists, writers, scientists and philosophers. She was strikingly elegant in appearance with a tall lithe stature and auburn hair. Pictures of her, taken in her late teens and early twenties show her dressed in a Victorian style with thick tresses of dark hair piled on top of her head. In these pictures she seems a timid and slightly sad young woman with a hint of disdain in her expression, which may have been the fashion at the time for young people of her class. Later, in a 1926 photograph by Berenice Abbott she appears as a strong sophisticated woman with a lot of style, a little bit mannish perhaps - a tendancy among the bohemian set at that time - but with a lot of womanly beauty. By the time she was photographed by Abbott (according to Gray's biographer Peter Adams, to be 'done' by Abbott who was a student of Man Ray ' meant you were rated as somebody') she had begun to come into the fulness of her creative energy and had created opportunities for herself to explore her talent.. On a trip to London in 1905 Eileen wandered into a lacquer repair shop: a trip which was to change the course of her creative life. With new-found knowledge and some tools in hand, she returned to Paris, linked up with a master craftsman of lacquer, Sugiwara-san, and from there developed new furniture and assessory designs with striking colors and understated shapes. Her boredom with the flowing, leafy lines of the Art Nouveau movement led to an artistic vocabulary which was more closely related to the De Stijl movement: clean lines and simple forms. The effect was stunning: (see linked Lacquer work file.) Eileen's lacquerwork succeeded in bringing her into the world of furniture and interior design. Her creative genius combined with an innovative sense of form as well as sensitivity to color, were utilized in new and innovative ways, usually to stunning effect.(see linked Furniture/Interior file) In 1921, Eileen opened a store at 217 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore as a direct outlet to the public for her designs. The store met with relative success in spite of the owner's lack of commercial and marketing skills. She continued to hone her designs, building upon a growing reputation for design excellence.
He was born in Paris where he completed his studies; in 1908 he begins to collaborate with various architectural studios - first in Paris and then in London and Frankfurt. In 1921 he makes his debut at the "Salon d'Automne" where he presents "a restful corner" at the Musée de Crillon. Afterwards, in addition to exhibiting his innovative furniture made of metal tubing at the various "Salons", he realizes numerous architectural projects: cinema, the decoration of shops, restaurants, offices and galleries. Already in 1919 Herbst proceeds along the road of modern design occupynig himself with metal furniture, window displays and indoor lighting. As far as his designs for metal furniture are concerned, in 1926 we can recognize his complete maturation in the rigorous and functional design of his nickle plated metal models.
Josef Hoffmann was born in Pirnitz, Moravia (now Czechoslovakia) in 1870. He studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under Carl von Hasenauer and Otto Wagner, whose theories of a functional, modern architecture profoundly effected his architectural works. He won the Rome prize in 1895 and the following year joined the Wagner's office. Hoffmann established his own office in 1898 and taught at the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule from 1899 until 1936. He was a founding member of the Vienna Secession, a group of revolutionary artists and architects. He actively supported the group by designing its exhibitions and writing for the magazine Ver Sacrum. In 1903 he helped found the Wiener Werkstätte. Although Hoffmann's earliest works belong to a Secessionist tangent of the Art Nouveau, his later works introduced a vocabulary of regular grids and squares. The functional clarity and abstract purity of his later works mark him as an important precursor of the Modern Movement. A highly individualistic architect and designer, Hoffman's work combined the simplicity of craft production with a refined aesthetic ornament. He died in Vienna in 1956.
Karl Jacob Jucker Zurich 1902 - 1997 Schaffhausen Silversmith Completion of a silversmith at the Zurich School of Art 1922nd At the Bauhaus from 1922-1923: Preliminary Course at Muche, training in the metal workshop. Later, in a Swiss designer silverware factory and a teacher at a vocational school.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1868. In 1884 he began an apprenticeship with John Hutchinson and began attending evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art. In 1889 he became an architectural assistant with Honeyman & Keppie. He also enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art. In 1890 he won a travelling scholarship and toured Italy before settling down into practice. While enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art, Mackintosh developed an artistic relationship with Margaret MacDonald, Frances Macdonald and Herbert McNair. Known as "The Four", they exhibited posters, furnishings, and a variety of graphic designs in Glasgow, London, Vienna and Turin. These exhibitions helped establish Mackintosh's reputation. With a design philosophy solidly rooted in Scottish tradition, Mackintosh disregarded the architecture of Greece and Rome as unsuitable for the climate or needs Scotland. He believed that a revival of the Scottish Baronial style, adapted to modern society would meet contemporary needs. His buildings clearly demonstrate this belief. Mackintosh created buildings notable for the elegance and clarity of their spatial concepts, the skillful exploitation of natural and artificial lighting, and skillful detailing. He felt that each design should work as a whole to which each carefully contrived detail contributes. In 1913 Mackintosh left the firm of Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh where he had been a partner since 1904. After unsuccessfully trying to establish his own practice, he dedicated his time to landscape painting. He returned to England in 1927 for treatment of cancer of the tongue. An outstanding architect, furniture designer, and painter, who pioneered the Modern Movement in Scotland, Mackintosh's works exist as the greatest flowering of the British Arts & Crafts movement in either Scotland or England. Mackintosh died in London in 1928.