Pair of 5015 Side Tables by Paul Frankl circa 1951
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Paul Frankl for Johnson Furniture, pair of side tables, cork and mahogany, United States, circa 1951
This pair of side tables is designed by the Austrian-American modernist designer Paul Frankl. The mahogany end tables belong to a range of furniture designed in 1950. The top is made of bleached cork. This line of furniture put Frankl once again in the national spotlight after his popularity had declined in the pre war years. Johnson Furniture Company was one of the most respected furniture manufacturers in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which was then the centre of American furniture industry. Three brothers from Sweden founded the company three decades before. Their 'Dynamique' line, based on French Art Moderne and Frankl's scyscraper designs, became the first complete set of mass-produced set of furniture made in the United States. The Johnson company focussed mainly on the conservative, middle-class market. Paul Frankl was a perfect match for this production company as he spent the decade before designing for the Hollywood elite.
Paul T. Frankl (1886-1958) was a furniture and interior designer born in Austria. At the age of 28 he moved to the United States. It was here that Frankl found his true aesthetic voice and style. Frankl was pre-eminently an advocate of the American Modernism. He believed in a new, optimist world. Frankl witnessed two World Wars and aimed to create a new, brave and upward new world order through his design. He has written extensively on the subject of Modern architecture and design and skyscrapers where one of his trademark features. The new structure of the skyscraper, rising up into the sky broke completely with the constraints of the past. The towering architectural form expressed the excitement and optimism of a new era.