USA (1886-1958)

Frankl settling in the USA in 1914, he carried the custom-designed industrial-arts approach over into department-store exhibition of the late 1920´s. His renowned « skyscraper » bookcases were unique designs and never mass produced. Paul Frankl saw classic geometry as the key to good design. Many of Frankl’s designs have little to do with the philosophy in his writings. His notable designs included large combined desk and bookcase of c.1927 , and a chrome, aluminium, and leather chair of c.1929. In conjunction with the 1927 “Art in Trade” exhibition at Macy’s department store, New-York, Frankl lectured on “The Skyscraper in Decoration”. Paul Frankl illustrated his and others furniture and interior designs in his influential book Form and Re-form (1930) in which he documented the best of American and European designers, and in his later books New Dimensions (1928) and Space for Living: Creative Interior Decoration and Design (1938). Paul Frankl spent the early part of his career in New York and the later part in California ; in the late 1940’s, specified cork veneer in furniture produced by Johnson Furniture Company. Frankl used materials lavishly and his work is comparable to that of the best French designers of the time, although the construction of Frankl’s designs was inferior to French craftsmanship and materials. Paul Frankl was the main force behind the formation oh the American Designers’ Gallery in 1928 and AUDAC (American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen) in 1930, both of which had member-ships consisting of the best designers, architects, and photographers in America at the time.