One of the wonderful extras that occurs when you write a design blog is that many people contact you about what is going on in the design world. This is really terrific as it keeps you abreast of the latest and greatest and often one step ahead of your competition…a place I like to be! This week I heard from
the PR firm handling the release of M2L Brand Reissued Designs for Harvey Probber. Commonly known as “a Mid-Century Master of Style and Father of Modular Furniture,” Harvey Probber is truly an iconic figure in the world of interior design.
Probber’s career began in the 1940″s and lasted until he sold his company in 1986. His first design was sold when he was only 16 years of age to the Superior Upholstery Company, and by the age of 23 he had opened Harvey Probber, Inc. . He also went on to greater fame by being included in the “Good Design” exhibition at MoMA and receiving many other design kudos.
He is best known as the originator of the ever prominent sectional sofa…so that’s who invented it!…and other modular seating designs. His use of streamlined shapes and sumptuous finishes and details brought him numerous admirers in the residential furniture business. His designs offered the modern elegance and sophistication that many people were seeking at that time, and basically still are today.
His creation of modular furniture was not his only genius idea for modern living. He went on to create “nuclear furnishings”, where pieces could be mixed into several different configurations, something not done previously. AND then he created designs that came in an assortment of finishes and sizes. In this way, people had many choices to select from, but the basic look of the furnishing remained the same. This was a terrific cost savings for manufacturers and went on to become an industry standard, as we all well know, for many furniture companies.
Eventually Probber made the changeover to designing furniture for offices and other commercial applications. He opened several showrooms across the country and the rest is history. Today his pieces are coveted by collectors and garner high prices at antique stores, auctions and on the internet at various e commerce sights.
Enter M2L, a well establish source for signature modern furniture, who is now manufacturing reissued designs of the iconic Probber, all under an agreement with the Harvey Probber Foundation. The initial furnishings will include these popular and much loved pieces by Probber: the Sling Chair (1947), the Nuclear Coffee Table (1949), selections from the Architectural Series (1960), the Deep Tuft Sofa (1972) and the Mayan Sofa (1981).
I say hip hip hooray! Well made reissued pieces are just as wonderful and exciting in a room as the originals. There are many other fabulous furniture designers, including ones I have written about (see post), that offer the A & D public the opportunity to purchase beautiful designs from their collections manufactured today.
Please do not think I am lessening the absolute joy you experience when you find an original piece by a designer you love at a price you can afford. I simply like the idea of continuing the production of good/great design by highly reputable companies, like M2L. I definitely believe this ups the ante on good dezign-taste available to the general public and increases the awareness of talented designers from the past.
Before I leave you, here are some Probber “hotties” from the past…just to whet your appetite for more of his fabulous designs. (photos taken from 1stDibs.com)
BTW, if you are planning to visit M2L their showrooms are located in New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Toronto. Hope this bit of info re M2L and their new line of Harvey Probber reissued designs fits into your interior design plans!
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!