Eero Saarinen, “Tulip Table” in rosewood and brushed aluminum, 1956.
Eero Saarinen for Knoll, in the style of.
Round “Tulip” table in rosewood standing on a circular flared feet in brushed aluminum.
Work realized in the 1950’s.
Dimensions : H 71 x D 120 cm.
Reference : LS43071001
Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) was born in the South of Finland. His father was an architect meanwhile his mother was a textile designer. He firstly studied sculpture at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière before architecture at Yale University. Graduated in 1936, he integrated his father’s studio, the Canbrook Architectural Office, where he met the designer Charles Eames and the future editor Florence Knoll. Whereas he was designing architectural projects, Eero also drew some pieces of furniture which integrated his buildings. In 1940, he received a first prize for the “Womb Chair”, in collaboration with Charles Eames, which would be edited by Knoll since 1948. This collaboration with the editor began two years earlier and would be at the origin of the creation of iconic pieces of design, such as the “Grasshoper Chair” or the “Tulip” chairs and table in 1956, based on organic forms. From an architectural point of view, he developed that taste for the curves and reverse curves, put in large spaces. The most obvious example is certainly the Gateway Arch in Saint-Louis, Missouri, which was designed in 1945 but realized four years after his death, in 1961.
Hans Knoll, son of Walter Knoll, a Deutsch furniture manufacturer, founded in 1937 in New York the Hans G. Knoll Furniture Company. In 1941, he created with Jens Risom a collection of modern furniture realized with straps from military surplus. He hired Florence Schust in 1943 after she studied at the Cranbrook Academy and to the Architectural Association of London and after she met Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius. She did evolve the scandinavian style of the company to the International Style with modern shapes and materials.
In 1946, Florence and Hans get married and founded Knoll Associates where they developed modern furniture with sculptural shapes created by famous designers such as Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi or Harry Bertoia. In 1948, the company gained the production rights of Mies van der Rohe furniture models. In the 1950’s, the visual identity of the brand was entirely revised thanks to the collaborations between Florence Knoll and the graphisc artist Herbert Matter.
In 1955, Hans Knoll died but the company is still famous thanks to Florence Knoll. She hard worked on space and the integration of furniture in places where they took place. Her great acuity and her large sense of harmony permitted her to perfectly link shapes, colors and materials.
She quit in 1965 and left the company to Cornell Dechert. The company endured many changes notably in the visual identity that became more colorful and graphic from 1967 thanks to Massimo Vignelli. Then the company sales fell more and more in the 1970’s and 1980’s creating financial difficulties.
Finally bought in the 1990’s, the company became Knoll Group and came back on the front scene with original creations by contemporary designers as Frank Gehry or reedition of old collections as the Krefeld collection of Mies van der Rohe or seatings from Harry Bertoia.
Today the Knoll company produces original creations or reeditions with the company caracteristical style : modern, pure and elegant.
P. KJELLBERG, Le mobilier du XXe siècle, dictionnaire des créateurs, Les éditions de l’armateur, 2000, p. 579-580.
A. BONY, Les années 50, Éditions du Regard, 1982, p. 194.
- C.&P. FIELL, Design du XXe siècle, Taschen Bibliotheca Universalis, 2018.
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