// BarryBlog //

A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).

Monday, June 30, 2008

Vedder Time-Life and Cassina Le Corbusier LC2

Recently research conducted on one of my Herman Miller Aluminum Group Executive Time-Life chairs uncovered the fact that it was McDonald's Corporation former executive board member B. Blair Vedder, Jr.'s personal Herman Miller office chair. The chair goes by the name Herman Miller Charles Eames Aluminum Group Time Life Executive Work Chair model ES 104 adjustable tilt swivel chair. The chair was formerly in the company's Oakbrook headquarters. I purchased it at a Chicagoland used furniture store. The chair has B. Blair Vedder, Jr.'s chrome nameplate affixed. Vedder was also one of McDonald's close knit group of executives as the COO of McDonald's former agency Needham who developed the slogan "You Deserve A Break Today". It is really rewarding for me and enjoyable to find this type of historic information. I collect for so many reasons. Information like I found on this chair keeps me hunting. Like this weekend when I found an original, likely mid-60's Le Corbusier LC2 chair, camel leather in wonderful original condition, stamped with the architect's name and the serial number 1370. It also has the Cassina Spa manufacturer label (pre-Knoll licensed model), and the Atelier label to boot. More on this in a future post.


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Blogger Gary said...

It amazes me how you find this stuff. And the research you do is impressive!

7:03 AM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

I am also amazed to find this stuff. Much of my ability to do so comes from an ability to recognize high design. What's of value. As you know, though I find it, I generally don't buy it unless it's significantly under priced. I do this because finding it is fun in itself, and only if it's at a garage sale price do I buy. The LC2 was so inexpensive it blows my mind. I won't say because it my be resold. My friend at the furniture store understands my passion for furniture and as an astute business man recognizes the time and resources require for resale. That's just not his model so he is generous to me. It has been fun to research stuff. I feel like I am taking a history class each time I buy a .49 cent Ben Seibel mug, or a $1.99 Knoll Marcel Breuer Cesca chair. Sometimes I go out on the limb and contact the designer. Harry Wysocki. Warren Snodgrass. Marko Spalatin, Bruce Fifield, and others. It's so fun. Plus buying vintage means reuse. Good for the environment, and for the landfill.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

It's the contacting of the designer that I find the most interesting, especially if they are alive! I would imagine most times they are pretty excited to talk to someone such as yourself, who takes the initiative to track them done.

6:42 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

gary, You're still in the States?

So far every designer I have spoken with has been really generous with their time. It has been remarkable. I have learned so much.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Matt Schulte said...

Sweet find Barry!

11:57 AM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

Thanks Matt!

12:14 PM  
Anonymous UncleStosh said...

OK. Knoll does not make nor has ever made a version of the LC2. Cassina has been the licensed manufacturer since 1963 when they helped engineer the current version. The "original" versions are made at the workshop of the series co-creator Charlotte Perriand. the first manufacturer to produce the furniture was Thonet in the early 1930's. They sold very little. Afterwards they sold the rights to a small scandinavian producer who also only made a total of only 8-12 pieces. The rights were eventually returned to the creators in the 1950's(Perriand,Corbusier, and Pierre Jeanerrette). Le Corbusier worked with Cassina and gave the official licensing right to them. Each piece is signed, stamped and numbered. You may see the furniture in past pictures with the brand AI attached. Ai is not a manufacturer but simply a distributor of the product in the US in the 1970's and 1980's. The product being sold is Cassina.

5:07 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

UncleStosh - Thanks for the additional information. Thanks to the generous shares of people like you, I am always learning. Thanks.

12:44 PM  

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