I’ve had this treasure hidden in my private stash for many years, but we are trying to live in a small space and since I have yet to find a place for it have decided to offer it to you. It was designed by one of the most renowned icons of mid-century modern design, Edward Wormley, and produced by the famed Dunbar Furniture. We recently had it reupholstered but have left the gorgeous original almost black finish on the frame as I adore the age patina it has acquired. The patina may not appeal to you and it can easily be refinished for a small fee if you so desire. The fabric we chose is from our vintage fabric collection. Its wonderful geometric design is done in aqua blue, avocado green, and white clipped velvet which is reminiscent of Jack Lenor Larsen’s fabrics. The parsons style frame has six legs with stretchers front to back between pairs of legs and is supported lengthwise by a high stretcher that is highlighted with brass accents. I can’t describe how stunning it is. I hope the photos do it justice.
Edward J. Wormley was born in 1907 in Oswego, Illinois and passed away an icon of mid-century design in 1995. He began his career in the interior design studio of Marshall Field & Company department store after having attended the Art Institute of Chicago from 1926-1928. In 1931 he was recruited by Dunbar. He quickly became the Design Director and remained so for the next three decades making Dunbar a name to be reckoned with in mid-century furnishings. This partnership is considered one of the most historically meaningful between a designer and a manufacturer. A quote from Wormley sums up the mid-century modern movement wonderfully as well as today’s design ethics: “Modernism means freedom-freedom to mix, to choose, to change, to embrace the new but to hold fast to what is good.”
Horse drawn carriages and furniture seem to be an odd combination, but it worked for Dunbar. They began as a manufacturer of custom horse drawn buggies for the gentry class. When autos took over the roads, Dunbar wisely switched to manufacturing fine furniture and became one of America’s premier fine furnishings companies. In 1931 destiny brought young designer Edward J. Wormley to Dunbar and the rest as they say, is history. Wormley brought a global presence and design to Dunbar ushering them into the mid-20th century and making the Dunbar name synonymous with high quality and good design. Together they became icons of 20th century winning numerous awards and accolades. Dunbar today continues this legacy.
This timelessly designed bench is absolutely gorgeous! You must make it yours.