Don’t Mean A Thing
If It Ain’t Got That Bling – Karl Springer
Karl Springer was one of the greatest contemporary furniture stylists of the 20th century. His unique blending of sophistication and crudeness made his work the most imitated during the 1970s and 1980s. One can still sense his influence in contemporary furniture now being produced.
He worked with many exotic materials to translate pure, classical shapes into contemporary, custom-made furniture, light fixtures or Venetian-glass objects.
Mr. Springer was credited with reviving shagreen, the rough skin of a shark or stingray, which had been popular as a fabric in the 1920s but had fallen out of favor.
He brought the use of lacquered parchment back into furniture manufacture as well and also worked with inlaid-wood veneers, rare woods, metals, faux finishes and granite.
His signature styles were classical Chinese and Art Deco, the latter inspired by his predecessors Ruhlmann and Jean-Michel Frank. Other influences seen in his creations ranged from the Bauhaus of Germany, his native country, to the Ashanti of Africa.
He was the president and sole owner of Karl Springer Ltd., with showrooms in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo and additional outlets in Munich and Chicago.