Off-Market (Restoration Underway)
This three-piece credenza, circa 1946, including bench with separate television and bar cabinets, is believed to have been designed by the Bauhaus-trained sculptor and designer, Ursula Meyer (1915-2003), in concert with Eve Frankl, who assisted Meyer in the 1940s. This piece is being sold here on behalf of Meyer's daughter. It's believed to be a one-of-a-kind prototype that was never commercially produced. (Below you'll see a professional photograph from circa 1950 of a similar work which came from Meyer's estate. The whereabouts of this other piece are unknown.) During that period of time Meyer designed furniture for Thonet. Because Frankl is not known to have specialized in furniture design and we've found no evidence of her designs being commercially produced, we believe Ursula Meyer was the primary designer for this piece. There are no hallmarks and only some scribblings on the underside of the bench that were done by the craftsman who cut and assembled the piece. Please see below for a full bio on Ursula Meyer and for more details on the career of Eve Frankl.
A classic example of mid-century modern design, each piece is made of solid teak wood. Bench measures 84" wide by 22" deep by 15" high. Bar cabinet measures 41.75" wide by 18" deep by 24" high and television cabinet measures 22" deep and wide. TV cabinet features vents on both sides and is open in rear. We can ship either with or without TV. This space can we used for a new television, or used to store additional liquor bottles, or books, magazines, throw blankets, etc. Original glass tops on tv cabinet and bar are in very good condition, with just a few chips and scratches. There are numerous scratches and nicks, so please inspect our photos carefully. There is an old stain on the top of the bar cabinet. The bench was recently sanded and refinished to repair some noticeable scratch marks. Original keys to bar cabinet are missing. All doors close tightly. Included are numerous colored glasses that were purchased specifically for use with the bar in the late 1940s.
Meyer was born in Hanover, Germany and studied in secret under Bauhaus Masters from 1934 to 1937. She continued her studies in Italy at the Reggia Scuola in Faenza and completed her education in the U.S. with a B.A. from the New School and a Masters from Columbia University in 1962. Meyer became a Professor of Sculpture at the City University of New York (CUNY) in 1963. Known primarily as a sculptor, she also had great success as a commercial designer for Thonet, Nancy Pottery, and the Raymor, Bradley and Majestic lighting companies. (Please see below for an example of a Thonet print ad promoting one of her designs.)
Meyer held important solo shows at Amel Gallery on Madison Avenue in Manhattan in 1964, and at AM Sachs on 57th Street in 1967. She also participated in more than 30 group shows, including those at MOMA, Brooklyn Museum, Aldrich Museum, Newark Museum, Hudson River Museum, and the Finch College Museum. She authored Conceptual Art, published by Dutton in 1972, and numerous articles in magazines that include "Arts Magazine", "Art News", and "Art Journal", among others. After retiring from CUNY in 1980, Meyer continued to create hundreds of new pieces of artwork, which have never been shown, including several very large sculptures. She also completed a manuscript for a second book. She was wildly experimental and prolific until the end of her life in 2003.
Meyer's work can be found in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Newark Museum, the Aldrich Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Her work was installed at the CUNY Graduate Center in 1989.
Eve Frankl trained at Pratt Institute in interior design and in engineering. Articles about her work have appeared in "Interiors", (1967), "House Beautiful" (1973), and "Contract" (1977, 1978). Her work appeared on the cover of "Interior Design" (1972) and the "House Beautiful Building Manual" (1973-4) together with feature articles about her work in those magazines.
This piece can be viewed by appointment at our client's loft in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan (New York NY 10003).