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Karl Springer

German, 1931-1991

Karl Springer was one of the greatest contemporary furniture stylists of the 20th Century. His unique blending of sophistication and crudeness made his work the most imitated during the 1970's and 1980's. One can still sense his influence in the contemporary furniture now being produced.

Karl was born in 1931 in Berlin. After the war, he immigrated to New York and became the top window dresser at Lord & Taylor Department Store. His juxtaposition of pure forms and exotic finishes made his work instantly recognizable. His designs were at once both restrained and vivid. His inspirations were Jean-Michele Frank and Tommy Parzinger.

With the support of his good friend, he created his own line of desk accessories and small furniture and began selling it through Henri Bendel's. It was an instant success and he quickly opened a small atelier on East 52nd Street on the emerging "Boutique Row." Designers flocked to his shop and were charmed by his personality and his work. He soon started taking commissions for larger and more important pieces. He developed a network of Artisans with incredible skill in exotic finishes. He always demanded the highest quality of materials and workmanship.

Karl Springer

Products designed by Karl Springer: