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(b Hong Kong, 1896; d England, 1985).

English designer. With her husband David Joel shortly after World War I she founded Betty Joel Ltd, which was based in a workshop at Hayling Island near Portsmouth, Hants. Early Joel furniture was made in oak, teak and mahogany and executed by craftsmen in an idiosyncratic style of Arts and Crafts combined with Neo-Georgian. In the 1930s a shop was opened in Knightsbridge, London, and manufacturing moved to a factory in Kingston-upon-Thames, designed for the company by H. S. Goodhart-Rendel. By this time Joel’s designs were influenced by the Modern Movement: mostly expensive pieces made to commission in light-coloured woods and veneers. Serpentine, curved and bow-fronted work was produced, as well as simpler planar and ‘stepped’ furniture (e.g. oak dressing-table, 1931; London, V&A). Wood, steel and glass were used for the framework of the furniture, with such luxury materials as ivory for the handles. As well as space-saving and built-in furniture for small modern flats, the firm, working to the drawings of the Joels or other designers, produced lavish interiors for such clients as ...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Spokane, WA, 1905; d 1990).

American furniture designer and manufacturer. The son of Japanese parents, after an early career as an architect he turned in 1940 to furniture-making, initially in Seattle and then, after a period of internment, in New Hope, Pennsylvania, where in 1946 he estabished an independent workshop. The workshop produces both series and individual designs, always in solid hardwood with no veneers; designs reflect both American and Japanese traditions, but are contemporary rather than revivalist. Although Nakashima is sometimes described as one of the founding figures of the American craft movement, his workshop used machine tools and, in the case of his series designs, production methods to create furniture that looks hand-crafted. The workshop is still a family business, and is now run by his daughter Mira (b 1942).

The Soul of a Tree: A Woodworker’s Reflections (Tokyo and New York, 1981) D. Ostergard: George Nakashima: Full Circle (New York, 1989)...

Article

UMS  

Petra Dupuits

[Utrechtsche Machinale Stoel- en Meubelfabriek; Pastoe]

Dutch furniture factory established in 1913 by Frits Loeb (1889–1959) to provide furniture for his small department store in Utrecht. Under the management of the furniture-maker Dirk Lubertus Braakman (1887–1966) UMS quickly developed into a mass-production furniture manufacturing company that supplied trademarked items to retailers. Originally UMS designs differed little from the period furniture produced by the average manufacturer in response to public taste. However, c. 1930 UMS took advantage of the greater demand for furniture with modern styling, and the designers W. coni, A. A. M. Grimmon (1884–1953) and Herman Frederik Mertens (1885–1960) produced some designs for wood and tubular-steel furniture (e.g. Barnasconi, sideboard, 1930, see A. H. Jansen: Het industrieel uitgevoerde meubel, Rotterdam, 1935, p. 55; and Grimmon, small oak-dresser, c 1932; Utrecht, Cent. Mus.), a forerunner of the later Pastoe storage cupboards). The modernist-inspired collection designed by Braakman sold well, and UMS was regarded as one of the few companies able to mass-produce good-quality Dutch modern design....

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b 1915).

Japanese industrial designer , active in the USA. He worked in Charlotte Perriand ’s Japanese office, and in the 1950s emigated to the USA, where he designed two stools that have since become famous: the fibreglass ‘Elephant’ stool (1954), which was the first all-plastic stool, and the ‘Butterfly’ stool (...