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Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 6:00 PM CDT

Tradition & Innovation

Sale 5001 Lot 59

Irving Harper (1916-2015)
unique pendant lamp
Rye, New York, circa 1960
painted wood, painted steel
Irving Harper helped found George Nelson & Associates and created designs for Herman Miller, including the company's logo and the iconic 'Marshmallow' sofa.
shade: 24"dia x 6"h

The Estate of Irving Harper, Rye, New York
Private Collection, Royal Oak, Michigan (acquired directly from the above)

Catalog Note:
The prolific designer and artist Irving Harper created a vast array of works throughout his life, but he is best known as a founding partner and designer at George Nelson & Associates. Only recently has Harper received more appropriate recognition for his work at George Nelson, where he designed or contributed to many of the brand's most iconic products.

Beginning in the 1960s, Harper created a large collection of impressive sculptures and other works out of his home in Rye, New York. His works from this period were most often comprised of folded and formed paper, but he also incorporated other readily available materials, such as twigs, toothpicks, pasta and paint. The coffee table (Lot 60) and daybeds (Lot 62) here show a similarity to his use of such available materials as in his artwork. Like them, the furniture was likely assembled from salvaged or reclaimed materials, but in this case the materials and parts have most likely come from the George Nelson / Herman Miller design and production process. As with the majority of his paper sculptures, these furniture pieces remained with him throughout his life. The coffee table, daybeds and this pendant light are now offered at auction for the first time.

In situ photos are courtesy of James Westman / Metropolis magazine (color) and Herman Miller (black and white).

Estimate $3,000-5,000