revised by Margaret Barlow
(b Blue Earth, MN, Nov 23, 1894; d Vero Beach, FL, April 20, 1989).
American interior and industrial designer. Deskey gained a degree in architecture and studied painting before working in advertising. From 1922 to 1924 he was head of the art department at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. In 1921 and 1925 he made trips to Paris, where he attended the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, before returning to New York in 1926 as a champion of modern art and design. In 1926–7 he created the city’s first modern window displays for the Franklin Simon and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. In 1927 he was joined by the designer Philip Vollmer, and the partnership became Deskey–Vollmer, Inc. (to c. 1929). Deskey expanded into designing interiors, furniture, lamps, and textiles, becoming a pioneer of the Style moderne (as Art Deco was known in America). His earliest model for the interior of an apartment was shown at the American Designers’ Gallery, New York, in ...
(b Vienna, Oct 14, 1886; d Los Angeles, 1958).
American furniture designer, born in Austria. He emigrated to the USA in 1914 and worked first in New York and later in Los Angeles. His most famous work is his ‘skyscraper’ furniture, which first appeared in 1926; many pieces were maple, and inlaid with Bakelite (e.g. skyscraper bookcase, 1927; New York, Met.). Frankl later specialized in metal furniture and in Art Deco furniture decorated with black lacquers and gold and silver leaf....
(b St. Andrew, Dec 29, 1902; d Sept 20, 1992).
Jamaican sculptor. He was initially self-taught, but later attended the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London. He worked as a furniture-carver in the 1930s for the Jamaican Art Deco furniture designer Burnett Webster (1909–1992). His own work of this period was influenced by Art Deco and by Edna Manley. Gradually it became more academic, and he became Jamaica’s most popular monumental sculptor. Among his best-known works are monuments in Kingston to Jamaica’s national heroes, including Norman Manley (1971) and Alexander Bustamante (1972), as well as to the reggae singer Bob Marley (1985). He worked in various materials, including bronze, but was at his best as a woodcarver. His outstanding achievement is the carved ceiling decoration and lectern of the university chapel, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.Boxer, D. and Poupeye, V. Modern Jamaican Art. Kingston, 1998.Poupeye, V. Caribbean Art...
(b Paris, Aug 28, 1879; d Paris, Nov 15, 1933).
French furniture designer. He was the son of a Protestant house-painter from Alsace. His early furniture, exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in 1910, displayed the rectilinear forms and fine craftsmanship that were to characterize his style. After World War I he founded with Pierre Laurent the Etablissement Ruhlmann & Laurent which produced luxury furniture. By the mid-1920s the company had diversified into other aspects of interior decoration, including lighting, textiles, carpets (see fig.), upholstery, japanning and mirrorwork. Ruhlmann’s contribution to the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes of 1925 in Paris illustrated his importance as a major exponent of the Art Deco style. He was responsible for the study in the Pavillon d’un Ambassadeur and was also represented by his own pavilion, the Hôtel d’un Collectionneur, designed by Pierre Patout, which exemplified the emerging role of the interior decorator as an ensemblier. The setting contained items by such designers as ...
Richard Guy Wilson
(b Decatur, IN, Dec 18, 1883; d Flemington, NJ, Dec 5, 1960).
American industrial designer and writer. Between 1903 and 1907 he studied at evening classes at the Art Students League in New York, while working as a sign-painter. He then worked as an advertising illustrator, in particular for Calkins & Holden, a pioneering agency that specialized in the use of art for illustrations and in advising clients on the appearance of their products. Between 1911 and 1928 Teague worked as a freelance illustrator and commercial artist and became known for his use of classical typography and decorative borders, as in the layout and borders for Time magazine (1923). In 1926, while travelling in Europe, he discovered the work of Le Corbusier and in particular his book Vers une architecture (1923). On his return to New York that year he decided to pursue a career in designing or restyling products and packages for manufacturers. In New York at that time a group of individuals including Teague, Norman Bel Geddes, Raymond Loewy and Henry Dreyfuss began to establish industrial design as an independent occupation, promoted by the foundation of the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen in ...