Above: A classic Pearsall Gondola sofa, 1960’s. Photo: flickr/kinzco
Born in 1925, in Trumansburg, New York, Adrian Mount Pearsall was one of America’s most successful post war furniture designers. Following his Naval service in World War II Pearsall studied architecture at the University of Illinois, graduating in 1950. But not entirely fulfilled with architecture, Pearsall quit and founded Craft Associates. With the help of his wife Dorie, he began building furniture in the basement of their Kingston, Pennsylvania home and sold pieces from the back of a truck to prominent New York and Philadelphia department stores including Macy’s and Wanamaker’s. Buoyed by this initial success Pearsall’s brother Richard joined the enterprise and Craft Associates shortly thereafter opened a factory in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, becoming one of the town’s top employers throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Pearsall greatest achievement, however, was making ‘high style’ affordable to the masses, His sensuous – sometime outrageous – designs were found in homes across the U.S. and found a ready audience with middle America.There are those who would deride his work as being derivative or simply opportunistic in that he simply supplied an eager market for modern, mass market furniture without concern for ‘proper’ design. But that would be a false notion as Pearsall created a unique American Modern that was joyfully expressed in his well-made pieces. In 1969 Pearsall sold Craft Associates to the Lane Furniture Company and while he worked on other ventures into the 70’s he left furniture design behind and focused on his other great love – yachting. Adrian Pearsall passed away in 2011 at the age of 86. An industry testament to Pearsall’s achievements was his nomination for inclusion into the American Furniture Hall of Fame in 2008.
Some info kindly provided by adrianpearsall.com
Just some of the many designs by the prolific Adrian Pearsall, all manufactured by Craft Associates. Click on Image for full view2599 false false true false true true false auto false ease-in-out 300 false 0 true true