Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Honoring the Greats: Tommi Parzinger

Hello my lovelies!  I have missed you these past two weeks as I have been popping in sporadically to blog.  In truth, I am overwhelmed with juggling finals at school and work projects at the moment, and in my free time sleep is a coveted activity.  However, we'll be back to normal next week after I get my school projects turned in!  Then, it's 3 more classes to take that will finish up in December and I will have officially earned my BFA in Interior Design.  Today I am starting a series that I hope you will find both informative and enjoyable- "Honoring the Greats" will focus on paying homage to the designers that have forever changed the landscape of design.  Today's post is focused on German furniture and interior designer, Tommi Parzinger.


Tommi is considered to be one of the key creators of the Hollywood Regency style.  Born in Munich in 1903, he was one of those lucky souls that seemed to ooze creativity everywhere he went.  Tommi studied design at the Kunstgewebeschule (School of Art & Craft) in Munich, working in a variety of mediums including ceramics, glass, metalwork, woodworking, and graphic design.   In 1932, he won first place in a poster design contest for a steamship company called North German Lloyd; the prize was a trip to the United States. When he returned to Germany, he won another poster competition, but this time was told he'd have to join the Nazi party in order to collect his prize.  Instead, Parzinger went to the US Embassy, received a visitors visa, and left directly for America.

Tommi was part of a wave of German designers who immigrated to the United States in the wake of World War II.  Most of the well-known designers that came around the same time were trained at the Bauhaus, such as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and Mies van der Rohe, and took a minimalist modern approach to design.  Parzinger was more interested in combining the modern aesthetic with glamorous and luxurious materials, such as lacquer and inlay motifs. .By 1939, he had established a company of his own,Parzinger Inc. later known as Parzinger Originals,which quickly established a reputation for restrained, though luxurious furniture.
 
 
 
  
You can definitely see a Bauhaus influence in many of his pieces.  There is a machine-like quality and refined sleekness to them- like these brass serving sets:
 
 


Parzinger's works were titled "high-style modernism", which represented a "more idiosyncratic, rarefied midcentury design". Most of the pieces he created were custom-built for large studios, with Parzinger using "cosmopolitan-looking designs, involving costly, craft-intensive materials and processes like brass work and lacquer". 
 
 



His designs were met with considerable success, and he even worked closely with Marilyn Monroe and the Rockafeller family.  The fact that his work has endured through decades and still remains stunningly current is why I'd consider him a true design great.
 
Read more about Tommi on Apartment Therapy here.
 
{Info source from here}
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