Paul McCobb (1917-1969)

Paul McCobb (1917-1969) was one of the leading contemporary furniture designers on the American design scene throughout the 1950s to the 1960s. His works are known to exalt the simplicity of form and the lack of ornamentation.

Paul McCobb
Paul McCobb

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在一个时间跨度of little over twenty years, he designed an impressive range ofmulti-functional furniture,accessories, andtextiles, as well as several notable interior design projects. Since his early death, in1969, his designs have been out of production, but are now making their way back to the market through a range of upcoming reissues.

Education, World War II and Paul McCobb Associates

Paul McCobb (June 5, 1917 – March 10, 1969) was born in Medford, Massachusetts, toRaymond McCobb, a “men’s furnishings” salesman, and his wife Winfred.

McCobb aspired from an early age to be an artist, and studied drawing and painting at theVesper George School of Artin Boston, never however completing his course work. In1942, with the outbreak of World War II, heenlisted in the Armyas a Private; however, he only served for a short time and was released on medical discharge in1943.

McCobb moved toNew Yorkto work as a product development engineer in the new medium ofplasticsand in1945, he opened his own design firm,Paul McCobb Associates. In1948he metB. G. Mesberg业务合作伙伴,谁会是他的特征。在1950, Paul McCobb launched his first mass-produced line of furniture known as thePlanner Groupin collaboration withMesberg; this collection, with itssleek linesandwarm finishes, was a hit, and the pieces were showcased in living rooms across America.

Paul McCobb Ad
Paul McCobb Ad “Planner Group” 1951

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Modern and Simple Design Style

McCobb took inspiration from classic American styles the likes ofWindsor and Shakerbut developed them into new and modern forms. As McCobb stated, “we don’t design fads”, and indeed his designs are imbued with atimeless quality. Further, McCobb pioneered the concept of theroom divider, to which he attacheddesk sets,cabinets,andshelves, coining the term “living walls”. His work was featured prominently in the Museum of Modern Art’sGood Designexhibitions (1950–1955), and he receivedMoMAGood Designawards in1950,1951,1953, and1954.

在the 1960s, McCobb worked as an interior design consultant for corporations likeColumbia Records,Singer Manufacturing Company,Bell & Howell Company, andAlcoa Aluminum Corporation.

McCobb died in1969and today his designs are featured in the museum collections of theCooper Hewitt Design Museum,theMuseum of Modern Art, New York and theBrooklyn Museum of Art, among many others.

Paul McCobb, Jackson China.
Paul McCobb, Jackson China

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Aesthetic and Production

Paul McCobb’s design aesthetic can be summarized assimplicity of form with a lack of ornamentation. Inspired by his New England upbringing and influenced by Shaker Design, McCobb combinedslender lineswithsculptural forms. He offered a playful take on traditional forms with hints of Scandinavian craftsmanship and International style clarity, often made with affordable and robust materials such asiron,solid woodanddurable upholstery.

Paul McCobb’s designs have not been in production for over50years. In collaboration with world leading manufacturers, rights holder FORM portfolios are working to getMcCobb’s designs back to the marketfor everyone to enjoy.

McCobb Planner Group Desk.
McCobb Planner Group Desk

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The Faceted Form

Although McCobb’s career unravels in a short span of time, his production is rich insofas, poufs, lounge chairs, wall mirrors, coffee tables, dining setsandlamps.

Shovel Chair, 1953. Wrought iron and birch (1917-1969) Palm Springs Art Museum.
Shovel Chair, 1953. Wrought iron and birch (1917-1969) Palm Springs Art Museum

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However, his most renown work is a lounge chair, designed in1959and known as theFaceted Form.
Realized inmolded fiberglassandenameled steel, the design-structure of this chair is based on the natural phenomena of cellular formation. With the Faceted Form, Paul McCobb created a faceted form for mass productioncombining design aesthetics with well-founded principles of structurefor a lounge chair which highly performs under normal as well as extraordinary conditions.

Paul McCobb Coffee Table.
Paul McCobb Coffee Table

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