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Designed for Moderns/New Dimensions

- 22 Jun 2014 -
36 posts / 0 new
#1

A couple of you have been curious about Designed for Moderns, later called New Dimensions Furniture. That was my father's business ? his name was Archie Kaplan, and he and Sol Bloom did most of the designing. Designed for Moderns existed between (roughly) 1951 and 1954. They mostly made small pieces (candlesticks, baskets, and the best-known piece, the catch-it-all) mostly made of metal. This is the catalog, an 8 by 3.5 inch accordian fold brochure ? but the catalog doesn't include everything. I also have product sheets and photos, and I'll post more soon. There's some great stuff, and he'd be so pleased that people are still interested.

Comments

- 22 Jun 2014

I have a question, I know...
I have a question, I know Sol Bloom designed the Catch-it-all but did he design any other pieces? If not do you happen to know any info on other designers? Thanks for uploading this by the way!

- 22 Jun 2014

Link works fine...thanks for...
Link works fine...thanks for posting! This is great!

- 22 Jun 2014

I like this sort of post and...
I like this sort of post and have to ask, were the tray sides made from sofa springs?

- 22 Jun 2014

l1flafly
Sol Bloom also designed these Scoop chairs:




- 22 Jun 2014

more ..
first of all, thank you, l1flafly, for help in posting. truly appreciate it.
Sol did design the scoop chairs and the stacking stools, also the troughs - and I think more, I don't have my files organized by attribution, but I'll look. I know of only two other designers, a Richard Hudson, who designed some candlesticks, and Seymour Robins, who designed a table - pix to come - I don't know much about them. Sol and my father continued to work together after the end of Designed for Moderns, and were friends, but I don't remember ever hearing the other names.
Heath, if you mean the rick rack tray, etc, no, I don't think they're springs - I do have better pictures, and will post.

- 22 Jun 2014

other designers, other products
A product sheet and two ads -





- 23 Jun 2014

products, attributions
just to be clear, the materials I have are things my father happened to save - ads, product sheets, photographs - with small exception, they don't name a designer - attributions are found in ads (and this, the MOMA press release for the 1951 Good Design Show (http://www.moma.org/momaorg/shared/pdfs/docs/press_archives/1522/release...)

I'm tempted to say that anything not attributed to someone else was designed by my father - but then again, the Guardian ad specifically attributes some things to him, and other ads attribute the products on the Expanded Metal Product sheets to him. So I don't really know. (Never thought to ask, and I thought we'd talked about everything.) He did design furniture in the rest of his career, but only for clients (he had an office design firm in NY) and for the family . ..





- 24 Jun 2014

more ..
here's another product sheet, and picture of some of the bowls - these are the two I have - I'm not planning on posting the ads unless there's some special reason to, seems like they'd be outside the scope of what people on this site are interested in, but the scoop chairs look so good in the Haymaker ad - from Vogue, August 1, 1953





- 24 Jun 2014

Very cool stuff
Thanks for sharing this valuable information!

- 24 Jun 2014

.
This forum is at its best when it becomes a place of learning as opposed to a den of unending trolling. Thank you for documenting this archive!

- 24 Jun 2014

Amazing material thank you...
Amazing material thank you so much for sharing!

- 25 Jun 2014

my pleasure
I'm happy to share what I have - and to know what all of you think or any experience you have of any of these products -

Designed for Moderns was all about new materials (typical of the time, I think) and Micarta was big. An ad (because I don't have anything else documenting those tables), a photo, and the reverse of the photo, with dimensions





- 25 Jun 2014

I just noticed that Panel...
I just noticed that Panel table up above with the triangular inserts. That is such an amazing design. I wonder if any have survived.

- 25 Jun 2014

three more
product sheets, and we are getting toward the end of these ..
l1flafly, that "trick table" is great - I think the designer, Seymour Robins, was the source of the interlocking paper - three dimensional Christmas cards we got every year. As with all the Designed for Moderns/New Dimensions stuff, I wonder not only how much survived, but how much was ever produced. The trick table shows up in a couple of ads, so there must have been some ...

there are more trays in the metal mesh - will post pictures later





- 27 Jun 2014

candle sconces
the ad is from Bride's magazine, Autumn, 1954 - I included it because it shows the colors, also, other cool stuff





- 27 Jun 2014

Hello Kate Kaplan.
Just a quick note to thank you for your postings. All of us on this forum appreciate your participation.

Best,

Aunt Mark

- 27 Jun 2014

Mark,
Mark, thank you so much. I've been reading these forums for a while now, and I have a lot of respect for all of you. I'm glad to be able to share.

- 28 Jun 2014

the last of the product sheets
the marble tables were sold at Sloan's in New York in 1953- and maybe other places, but I have the Sloan's ads.
the walnut and brass has never been my favorite - except for the candle sticks - I have a pair of those, but of different sizes (one ten inch, one six inch) where the ones on the product sheet are uniform - the ones I have aren't all that well made - the join of the walnut and brass is off a little bit - maybe they were samples, or prototypes?





- 28 Jun 2014

note holders
the note holders (dual and single) are really elegant, in person




- 29 Jun 2014

Anyone ever heard of Arie Ilton?
Posting here has made me a more careful reader of my own files. The "Drama in Expanded Metal" newspaper clipping (no idea which newspaper or when) refers to a table "in which the frame rises above the inset glass shelf to form a handle ..." Doesn't that describe the table in the picture?




- 29 Jun 2014

more mystery tables
mystery to me, because the only record I have is the photos (except that the glass and metal one appears in the Furniture Forum thing I posted earlier) - no advertising or anything that would indicate that they were produced and sold. And they don't look like the rest of the Designed for Moderns stuff. I like them all, even though/because they're strange.
oh, the round table I posted earlier is 20 inches in diameter, 22.5 high - says so on the back of the photo





- 29 Jun 2014

as long as I'm posting tables
These seem much more conventional, although, again, the photos were with the Designed for Moderns stuff, and that's all I know.




- 30 Jun 2014

wood & tile
the black and white is from my father's stash of photos - the color pix are of a trivet and a cakestand I own - I don't know how those tiles are stuck down, but they're sticking





- 30 Jun 2014

more ..
I don't think that either the hurricane (comes with a glass chimney) or the tray show up on any of the things I've posted - the tray I actually bought on ebay or etsy, can't remember, but it's just like the one we had when I was a kid - there should be little rubber feet on the legs, but I'm having trouble finding the right size .




- 01 Jul 2014

last posts
at least for now - if anyone wants a closer look at an item, I might have a photograph - or, I might have some info on where the thing was sold - and if anyone has anything to add, I'd love to hear it.

In the meantime, the Sloan's ad is from 1958, well outside the New Dimensions period, but its inclusion with those materials probably means that my father designed the furniture, when he was freelancing after New Dimensions closed.

the final pic is a page from the 1953 Akron Art Institute Young Designers show.

I hope you've all enjoyed this. I have.




- 02 Jul 2014

More
Thanks so much for this wealth of information and vintage images, Kate. I have been a huge Bloom/Kaplan fan for many, many years and have several pieces in my collection including scoop chairs and ottoman, catch all, lamps and accessories. My prize is a 5 panel screen I purchased about 20 years ago from Full House in NYC. I had seen it previous years but they wouldn't sell it as they were making good money renting it. The only thing that comes to mind is a movie called Prisoner of New York where Bernadette Peters crawls through one of the openings! Anyway, they finally sold it to me and said it was a custom commission by Sol Bloom for a Fur Salon in NYC. It is now at my home in San Diego. Again, thanks!

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/house-tour-david-and-kurt-comb-85374#gal...

- 02 Jul 2014

David
Nice to meet you. Until about a year ago, I had no idea that anyone outside my family had even heard of Designed for Moderns -this is fun. The screen's amazing - I sent an email to Sol's daughter, so she could get a look -

- 03 Jul 2014

Kate
Ditto! Will be interested to hear her thoughts! Thanks for this!

- 23 Jan 2018

Kate - I'd love to say hi if you're still on this discussion. I worked for Archie from '83 to '93 @ EPI, and we met there a few times. You can reach me at carroll@rdlab.com Hope to hear from you!

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