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Paul Frankl

Austrian, 1886-1958
Born in Vienna, Paul Frankl came to the United States in 1914 as part of a wave of Central European design luminaries — among them Kem Weber, Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra — who were drawn by the energy and optimism of the American scene. Prolific and protean, Frankl would go on to design furnishings that are emblematic of nearly every key stylistic chord in American modernism, from the streamlined Art Deco to free-form organic shapes.

     His “Skyscraper” cabinets, introduced in 1924, are Frankl’s earliest and best-known designs (and the work by which he is most often represented in institutions, such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art). Tall and narrow, the pieces have staggered shelves meant to mimic the setbacks of Manhattan office towers. A later visually expressive line — the “Speed” chairs and sofas, which have a raked profile suggesting motion — links Frankl to Donald Deskey, Raymond Loewy and other creators of “Streamlined Moderne” design.

     Frankl moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and luxuriated in the climate and lifestyle. His designs became lighter and simpler and found an audience among the Hollywood élite. (Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Fred Astaire were clients.) Fascinated by Asian arts, Frankl produced numerous pieces — tabletops with edges that curve upward; sofas and chairs with rattan frames — inspired by Chinese and Japanese forms and materials. In the 1940s, Frankl became one of the first designers to incorporate free-form, biomorphic shapes in his work, as well as novel upholstery fabrics such as denim and nubby wool.

     Frankl biographer Christopher Long argues that the designer’s easy, elegant aesthetic had an enormous influence on movie set design. As the furniture below attests, Paul Frankl’s work is ready for its close-up.

Iconic Designs from Paul Frankl
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Pretzel Sofa
Pretzel Sofa
Skyscraper
Skyscraper
Paul Frankl Tiered Mid-Century Modern Side or Occasional Table for Saltman Brown
By Paul Frankl
Located in Studio City, CA
Elegantly designed and solidly crafted. This piece is from renowned designer Paul Frankl and was manufactured exclusively by Brown Saltman. It would make a beautiful addition to any ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Paul Frankl

Materials

Oak

Paul Frankl Cork and Ebonized Oak Console Table
By Johnson Furniture Company, Paul Frankl
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Minimal, Paul Frankl model 5008 console table for Johnson Furniture Company features a natural beige cork top with folded ebonized oak legs.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Paul Frankl

Materials

Oak, Cork

Pair of Paul Frankl Ivory Lacquered Nightstands with Brass X Pulls, circa 1950
By Paul Frankl, Johnson Furniture Company
Located in Saint Louis, MO
Everyone loves Paul Frankl furniture. A pillar of design, he created some of the most iconic midcentury pieces of furniture. And here we have a lovely pair of Paul Frankl ivory lacqu...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Brass

Paul Frankl Combed Wood Buffet or Credenza for Brown Saltman
By Paul Frankl
Located in Van Nuys, CA
This Mid-Century Modern buffet or credenza by Paul Frankl for Brown Saltman Company features his trademark combed wood sides with black lacquer top. It is branded beneath "Brown-S...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Brass

American Mid-Century Modern Pair of Walnut Step End Tables by Paul Frankl
By Paul Frankl, Barzilay
Located in San Diego, CA
Very rare of atomic age step end tables designed by Paul Frankl, circa 1950's in walnut finish with black lacquer accents, freshly refinished very rare set hard to find.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Paul Frankl

Materials

Walnut

Mid-Century Double Dresser with X-Shaped Drawer Pulls
By Paul Frankl
Located in New York, NY
Mid-century double dresser with ten drawers with X-shaped metal drawer pulls (Paul Frankl).  
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Paul Frankl

Materials

Wood, Teak, Walnut

Paul Frankl Dining Table
By Paul Frankl
Located in Atlanta, GA
Elegant cork top dining table, designed by Paul Frankl for The Johnson Furniture Company, American, circa 1940s. This table is currently being refinished and can be completed in your...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Mahogany, Cork

  • Paul Frankl Dining Table
  • Paul Frankl Dining Table
  • Paul Frankl Dining Table
  • Paul Frankl Dining Table
H 29.5 in. W 72 in. D 42 in.
Early 1950's Paul Frankl Desk Vanity for John Stuart Johnson Furniture
By John Stuart, Johnson Furniture Company, Paul Frankl
Located in Dallas, TX
This fine example of early 1950's streamlined furniture designed by Paul T. Frankl and made by Johnson Furniture Company. Two-tone black satin lacquer and bleached wood finish make t...
Category

1950s American Art Deco Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Wood

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Paul Frankl Sellers

Harveys on Beverly
4.6 / 5
20CDesign.com
4.4 / 5
ABC Modern
4.7 / 5
FRANK LANDAU SELECTED DESIGN OBJECTS & FINE ART, INTERIOR DESIGN
5 / 5
Ponce Berga
5 / 5
Soho Treasures
4.7 / 5
Revival Home
4.9 / 5
COOCOOU27
4.5 / 5
Century Design Ltd.
5 / 5

Creators Similar to Paul Frankl

Widdicomb Furniture Co.
Charles Hollis Jones
Johnson Furniture Co.
Winchendon Furniture (Planner Group)

Paul Frankl Furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Paul Frankl Furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Paul Frankl furniture collection, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 242 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Paul Frankl were created during the 20th century in Mid-Century Modern style in North America. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Henredon, John Widdicomb and Tommi Parzinger. The prices for Paul Frankl furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $395 and tops out at $220,000, while pieces like these can sell for $5,775.