PAUL MCCOBB FOUR-DRAWER DRESSER FOR WINCHENDON
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A low-slung, four-drawer dresser in black lacquer with aluminum ring pulls designed by Paul McCobb as part of his Planner Group line for WINCHENDON. Determinedly unassuming but so stylish! Refinished.
PAUL McCOBB was one of the leading contemporary furniture designers in America in the 1950's and 60's. Despite a lack of formal training, he created an impressive range of multi-functional furniture, accessories, and textiles. He also took on many notable interior design projects. McCobb opened his own studio in 1945 and rose to prominence a few years later as a design and decorating consultant for Martin Feinman’s Modernage Furniture in New York City. It was there he met his future business partner, B.G. Mesberg.
McCobb capitalized on the post-war demands of young and growing families for simple, affordable, and stylish furniture. His pieces were inexpensive, flexible, and practical. He helped to popularize "modular" furniture, and his "living walls" with their moveable room dividers and storage systems perfectly fit the evolving, informal lifestyles of the period. By 1950, he had created his Planner Group line of furniture, marketed by Mesberg. Its wildly successful design adhered to a minimalist aesthetic; the line would remain in production through 1964. Other important collections followed, including the Predictor Group for O'Hearn and the Directional Group for WINCHENDON. McCobb's work commanded a large share of the American market.
In addition to furniture, McCobb designed radios and televisions for CBS-Columbia and hi-fi consoles for Bell & Howell. He acted as design consultant for many leading American corporations, including Singer, Alcoa, Goodyear, Columbia Records, and Remington Rand. McCobb traveled throughout America for speaking engagements, panel discussions, and radio and television talk show appearances, and his syndicated design column appeared in newspapers across the country. He served as a visiting faculty member at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art.
Inspired by his New England upbringing and influenced by Shaker Design, McCobb's work generally combined slender lines with sculptural forms. He offered a playful take on traditional forms with nods to Scandinavian craftsmanship and International Style clarity. He was the recipient of MoMA's Good Design Award five times between 1950 and 1955 as well as of the Philadelphia Museum of Arts' Contribution to Better Design Award in 1959. He died at the young age of 51 in 1969.
Contemporary American design is not the Chinese influence, the Swedish or the Italian influence. It is an American influence that has an American look about it and has the feeling of belonging in our homes. Such design fits the size and shape of our rooms. – PAUL McCOBB
WINCHENDON FURNITURE CO. was founded by Richard E. Ladeau in 1939, as Winchendon Custom Upholstery Company, Inc. It is most well known as the company that produced the wildly successful Planner Group of contemporary furniture designed by Paul McCobb. Among the best-selling contemporary furniture lines of the 1950s, it was in continuous production from 1949 until 1964.
WINCHENDON is still a family-run company but has transitioned over the years from furniture building into a brand name retailer. The main showroom is in Winchendon, Massachusetts.
Country of Origin – USA
Designer – PAUL MCCOBB (1917-1969)
Maker – WINCHENDON
Attribution – MARKED
Condition – VERY GOOD (no defects; may show slight traces of use)
Height (in.) – 30.5
Width (in.) – 60.0
Depth (in.) – 18.0