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and objects from the modern era

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Archive for the 'Edward Wormley' Category


Edward Wormley, second from left pictured with George Nelson, Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, Charles Eames, Jens Risom; Playboy magazine, July 1961.

Traveling by Amtrak from Boston to New York one snowy evening in 1995, I came upon an article about the auction of Edward Wormley’s estate. It was a pivotal moment for me. Returning from an auction where I had been seriously outbid on a Herter Brothers chest (now residing in the Metropolitan Museum), it occurred to me that it was time to set my sights on other furniture periods and designers.


The surreal Wormley shell console, above, circa 1950. Hand carved, it is often featured in contemporary interiors.

Edward Wormley, 1907 – 1994, was an American mid-century modern furniture designer who understood the essential elements of modernism, but did not limit himself to one ideology. His furniture represented a convergence of historical design and 20th century innovation. He took the best from Danish, Asian, and classical elements and designed sophisticated, well-crafted furniture prized by collectors and designers.

Wormley’s inclusion in the Good Design Shows at the Museum of Modern Art in 1951 and 1952 positioned him alongside designers Harry Bertoia, George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames.

The Wormley for Dunbar chest above and the Wormley coffee table below use the same minimalist vocabulary with subtle Asian influences.

A favorite in the townhouse.bz collection is the Wormley chair, below. It is beautifully designed, and the execution features brass crossbars and peg joints.


Below, the interplay of the negative space with the refined silhouette of these black lacquered dining chairs is a wonderful example of Wormley’s skill at furniture design and construction.


through the holidays
@ Guild Greene Gallery
281 Greene Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
718 398 6792

Holiday Hours: 12/22, 23 & 24 noon to 6pm; or by appointment.

Barware, jewelry, objects, handmade toys and ornaments, newly restored mid-century modern furniture.


Featuring a pair of Verner Panton cone chairs with orange mohair seats.


A Corbu chaise with a chrome tri-leg glass top coffee table, Alvar Aalto dishes, a Bruce Fox tri-leg aluminum bowl, a Kay Bogeson Penguin.


A Milo Baughman swivel chair, a modern French daybed, a Bernhard Rohm acid etched coffee table.

A Salon Exhibition Art, Objects and Furniture Exploring the Realm of Mid-Century Modernism

Featuring the townhouse.bz collection including Jud Nelson, Kamilla Talbot Piaget Studios, Kathy Urbina, Le Corbusier, Knoll, Milo Baughman, Pierre Jeanneret, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Aldo Tura, Fornascetti, Edward Wormley.

Opening Saturday, July 26th, 2014
From 6 to 9pm
Showing through September 6th, 2014
Thu & Sun 12 to 6pm
Fri & Sat 12 to 7:30pm
or by appointment

@ Guild Greene Gallery
281 Greene Avenue
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn 11238
718 398 6792

Visit Faux Real and explore historic Clinton Hill. Guild Greene’s building is the original 1890s headquarters and laboratory for Bristol Myers. Fine dining nearby includes Speedy Romeo, Marietta, Locando Vini & Olli and Aita.

Shown above: Holos/Series 23, No.1 (Wood Match) Roman Travertine & Red Slate; Jud Nelson, 1994

Contact Us for more information.

I find things by poking around. I am genetically programmed for this task and it makes me happy. Recently I was asked if I wanted to look through items being emptied from a large house. I dropped everything and rushed over. After some searching, I found something rare that made my heart pound.

Spied – an intriguing label found while poking around.

One item that jumped out at me was the logo on a box full of wallpapers. The graphic double capital “W” was so handsome that it immediately said to me something special was inside. There were brand new rolls of wallpaper silkscreened in the 1960s by Woodson Papers, the premiere mid-century modern manufacturer of silkscreened wallpapers, founded by Woodson Taulbee. As I understand it, Woodson Taulbee was interior designer Billy Baldwin’s one true love. Billy Baldwin designed Woodson Taulbee’s apartment and it became an enduring icon of interior design when it was featured on the cover of his 1972 book, Billy Baldwin Decorates.

It is easy to see that the patterns speak the language of the art movements of the day: Andy Warhol’s colors and patterns, David Hicks’ cross grids and Billy Baldwin’s famous chocolate brown backgrounds contrasted with silver foil patterns.

These Woodson Papers are prime examples of 1960s decorative art at its peak. I imagine them in rooms of streamlined Knoll furniture, or with Edward Wormley’s colorful furniture for Dunbar. Robsjohn-Gibbings could have featured them in his decorative schemes behind a chest or framed as part of a door by Tommi Parzinger. Framing and placing these silkscreen wallpapers on a wall makes them art – a very Warholesque idea of appropriation. It is thrilling to see creative ideas survive as good as new after fifty or more years.

Billy Baldwin “B” spied on another box of wallpaper.
vintage wallpapers.”>

View our collection of vintage wallpaper.

Posted by Kevork Babian February 15, 2013 / 9 Comments Filed Under Classical Modernism, Edward Wormley, Just Found, Knoll, Parzinger, Robsjohn-Gibbings, Vintage Wallpaper

Townhouse is designed, written and produced by Dekker Babian. Townhouse is located in Brooklyn, NY. Telephone: 718 398 6792. All text and photos © 2009 – 2016.