Furniture Design Genius – Timeline

Often while researching furniture design, people do not know exactly which designer they are looking for, when the designer lived, in what country, or how most furniture historians describe the designer’s style. Bienenstock Furniture Library offers this reference to help you to find the design information you seek.

The name of each furniture design genius listed here – beginning with Thomas Chippendale – is attached to a distinct design viewpoint (style). The designer’s work and name are interlocked and referenced accordingly. (Frequently, individual pieces of furniture are also named after their designer.)

FURNITURE DESIGN GENIUS | TIMELINE – a chronological listing of iconic furniture designers whose work bests represents international style periods, as recognized by furniture historians and scholars

18th Century Golden Age ———-

THOMAS CHIPPENDALE, 1718-1779, England | http://www.thechippendalesociety.co.uk

JOHN GODDARD, 1723-1785, United States | http://www.christies.com/about/press-center/releases/pressrelease.aspx?pressreleaseid=4511

JOHN TOWNSEND, 1732-1805, United States | http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/jtwn/hd_jtwn.htm

Neoclassical ———-

ROBERT ADAM, 1728-1792, England | http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/r/robert-adam-neo-classical-architect/

THOMAS HOPE, 1769-1831, England (architect) | http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/thomas-hope/

GEORGE HEPPLEWHITE, 1727?-1786, England | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Hepplewhite

DUNCAN PHYFE, 1768-1854, Scotland, United States | http://antiquesandthearts.com/Antiques/CoverStory/2012-01-03__15-11-46.html

THOMAS SHERATON, 1751-1806, England | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sheraton

Victorian ———-

JOHN HENRY BELTER, 1804-1863, Germany, United States | http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/60163/John-Henry-Belter

LAMBERT HITCHCOCK, 1795-1852, United States | http://connecticuthistory.org/built-on-innovation-saved-by-nostalgia-the-hitchcock-chair-company/

MICHAEL THONET, 1796-1871, Germany, Austria | http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/thonet-and-sons/

Arts & Crafts ———-

WILLIAM MORRIS, 1834-1896, England | http://www.morrissociety.org/index.html

GUSTAV STICKLEY, 1857-1942, United States | http://stickleymuseum.org/

Modern ———-

CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH, 1865-1933, Scotland | http://www.crmsociety.com/

GERRIT RIETVELD, 1888-1964, Netherlands | http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=4922

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT, 1867-1959, United States | http://www.franklloydwright.org/

Art Nouveau and Art Deco ———-

PAUL FRANKL, 1887-1958, Austria, United States | http://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/franklp.htm

EMILE GALLE, 1846-1904, France | http://www.emilegallefurniture.com/

EILEEN GRAY, 1878-1976, England | http://designmuseum.org/design/eileen-gray

JACQUES-EMILE RUHLMANN, 1879-1933, France | http://www.ruhlmann.info/ruhlmann.php/t,E.J.Ruhlmann

European Modernism ———-

MARCEL BREUER, 1902-1981, Hungary | http://www.marcelbreuer.org/Biography.html

LE CORBUSIER, 1887-1965, Switzerland | http://www.fondationlecorbusier.fr

LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE, 1886-1969, Germany, United States | http://www.miessociety.org

Postwar Modern ———-

ALVAR AALTO, 1898-1978, Finland | http://www.aalto.com/about-alvar-aalto.html

HENRY BERTOIA, 1915-1978, Italy, United States | http://www.harrybertoia.org

CHARLES EAMES, 1907-1978, & RAY EAMES, 1912-1988, United States | http://designmuseum.org/design/charles-ray-eames

ARNE JACOBSEN, 1902-1971, Denmark | http://www.arne-jacobsen.com/en/arne-jacobsen

FINN JUHL, 1912-1989, Denmark | http://www.finnjuhl.com/

VLADIMIR KAGAN, 1927-, Germany, United States | http://www.vladimirkagan.com/

GEORGE NAKASHIMA, 1905-1990, Japan, United States | http://www.nakashimawoodworker.com

GEORGE NELSON, 1908-1986, United States | http://www.georgenelson.org

VERNER PANTON, 1926-1998, Denmark, Switzerland | http://www.verner-panton.com/person/

GIO PONTI, 1897-1979, Italy | http://designmuseum.org/design/gio-ponti

EERO SAARINEN, 1910-1961, Finland, United States | http://www.eerosaarinen.net/

HANS WEGNER, 1914-2007, Denmark | http://www.scandinaviandesign.com/hans_wegner/

Modernism ———-

FRANK O. GEHRY, 1930-, Canada | http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/geh0bio-1

PHILIPPE STARCK, 1949-, France | http://www.starck.com/

Post Modern and Contemporary ———-

RON ARAD, 1951-, Israel | http://www.ronarad.co.uk/design-studio/

TOM DIXON, 1959-, Tunisia | http://www.tomdixon.net/products/us/furniture-and-accessories

MARC NEWSON, 1963-, United States | http://www.marc-newson.com/ProjectCategorys.aspx?GroupSelected=0&Category=Unique%20Pieces

ROBERT VENTURI, 1925-, United States | http://venturiscottbrown.org/bibliography/

Bienenstock Furniture Library holds the world’s largest collection of rare books on furniture and design – open & free to the public. To research these design masters and their works further, we invite you to visit the Library in High Point NC. You may also search our database of rare furniture and design-specific books online here.

About the Author

Charles Sutton

Charles Sutton

Sutton Fine Furniture

Charles is a recognized authority on fine furniture, and is the past chairman of Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library, High Point, N.C. Sutton has written, taught and lectured throughout the U.S. on furniture history, design, period styles, construction and care. Charles was a member of the Adjunct Faculty at Appalachian State University teaching classes on the history of furniture design. Charles and Martha Sutton founded Sutton Fine Furniture which was responsible for fine reproductions licensed by The British National Trust, The Smithsonian Institute, The Henry Ford Museum and The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Sutton twice won the coveted, industry-wide Daphne Award for the best reproduction furniture made in America. In 2012, Charles and Martha established SIDE, The Sutton Initiative for Design Education at Salem College, Winston-Salem NC, featuring a chair library of 50 iconic chairs that are used to teach design and construction to students throughout North Carolina colleges and universities. Sutton has served as chairman of the board for North Carolina Museum of Art and is a member of the American Society of Furniture Designers, The Furniture Society and the American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation.