Edward Wormley was born in 1907 and died in 1995, a life span that encompasses a myriad of design directions which came in and out of favour. His work appeals to collectors today as his approach wasn't adhered to one ideology or style but traversed classical and modernist styles.
Early on in his career during the Depression, he was appointed to design furniture for Dunbar, based in Indiana. He was essentially the company's in house designer in this position, from 1932 to the late 1960s.
After a brief time at the Art Institute of Chicago, he was unable to continue to pay the fees and worked for an interior designer for Marshall Fields & Company department store. Early on in his career, during the Depression, he was appointed to design furniture for Dunbar, based in Indiana. He was essentially the company's in house designer in this position, from 1932 to the late 1960s.
Wormley's designs for Dunbar were extremely difficult to produce, with juxtaposing materials and hand crafted elements produced by Swiss craftsmen. It is probable that, at that time, Dunbar was the only company in the United States equipped with a team of people who were skilled enough to manufacture his designs. He had a strong ability to create balance in an object with colour, materials and form.
Although he wasn't strictly a modernist designer he is respected for his ability to weave classical design elements into a modernist object. His reputation was boosted by MoMa's inclusion in the Good Design Exhibitions and the famous 1961 Playboy image of iconic modernist designers Charles Eames, George Nelson, Jens Risom, Harry Bertoia and Eero Saarinen.
We have been fortunate to see a few examples of Edward Wormley's work over the years including the 'Wheat Sheaf' Coffee Table with a stunning walnut base and marble top. Currently we have the 'Precedent' Swivel Chair which was produced by Drexel.