Broyhill’s Brasilia Line

An American classic

broyhill brasilia oscar niemeyer american mid century modern
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Above: Chest of drawers with storage from Broyhill’s Brasilia line. Photo: flickr/kinzco

Introduced at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair the Brasilia line by Broyhill took its styling cues from the architecture of the city of Brasilia – the newly created capital of Brazil designed by Oscar Niemeyer between 1956 and 1961. Several of Niemeyer’s buildings featured supporting columns of sweeping parabolic shapes – forms that would become the signature of the modernist architecture of Brasilia and well as Broyhill’s namesake furniture series.

broyhill brasilia oscar niemeyer american mid century modern

For the Brasilia line Broyhill took its styling cues from structures like this one, the Palacio Do Planalto designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1958. Photo: Dmitri Kessel

broyhill brasilia oscar niemeyer american mid century modern

Showing the inspiration for Broyhill’s Brasilia line the Palacio da Alvorada, the official residence of of the president of Brazil, designed by Oscar Niemeyer in 1958.

Click on image for full view.

Founded in 1926 by James Edgar Broyhill the company, like so many American companies in the 1950’s and 1960’s, introduced modern lines of furniture to keep up with public demand. Sold as part of the Broyhill’s ‘Premier’ series the Brasilia pieces were all constructed from solid walnut and were well-made, sturdy pieces of furniture. A success with the public the pieces sold well but production stopped in 1970 when Broyhill Furniture was sold. off.

broyhill brasilia oscar niemeyer american mid century modern

Designed in the 1950’s Oscar Niemeyer’s Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida located in Brasilia, Brazil.

broyhill brasilia oscar niemeyer american mid century modern

The Broyhill Brasilia ‘Cathedral’ coffee table styled after the framework of Oscar Niemeyer’s Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida. Photo: pinterest.com

As far as the designer’s names associated with the Brasilia line these are not easily found and credit generally goes to Broyhill’s in-house design team. Today Brasilia is very popular with collectors and given that so many of the pieces were produced they are a relatively affordable American classic.

If anyone could shed any more light of these wonderful pieces please leave it in the comments!

Unless otherwise stated, images courtesy of All Day Kenny K

Just a few of Broyhill's Brasilia line. Click on image for full view and info.

broyhill brasilia oscar niemeyer american mid century modern

Brochure image showing the extensive Brasilia range.

broyhill brasilia oscar niemeyer american mid century modern

Advert image for Broyhill’s Brasilia line of furniture.

broyhill brasilia oscar niemeyer american mid century modern

A couple of Brasilia pieces in the lovely home o photographer Darren Bradley. Photo: Darren Bradley

 

 

Click here to learn more about the city of Brasilia

 

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Kyle
Guest

Melbourne F. Smith Jr. was the designer of the Broyhill Brasilia line. I recently wrote a piece on Medium about it. https://medium.com/@midcenturyspot/who-really-designed-broyhill-brasilia-fb2ecdb585b9

Malissa
Guest

Bravo! Great write up on this awesome line!