Mr. KARL SPRINGER was the most influential American furniture stylist of the latter 20th Century. His unique blending of chic sophistication and crudeness made his work powerfully attractive and the most imitated during the 1960’s through the 1990’s. One can still sense his clear influence in the high end contemporary furniture offered today.
KARL was born in Berlin, Germany in 1931. In 1957 he immigrated to New York. He became a top window dresser for the Lord & Taylor flagship store on Fifth Avenue. At night he developed a line of exotic leather accessories.
With the support of his friend he was able to place his line in a prestigious specialty shop within Bergdorf Goodman. The line was an overnight sensation. He opened an atelier on the then emerging boutique row of East 53nd Street. It is said that the DUCHESS of WINSOR discovered him and her patronage catapulted him into the limelight. Designers and Patrons flocked to the small shop. They were charmed by his personality and captivated by his creations. Quickly he began taking commissions for larger and more important pieces. His tireless pursuit of fine materials and old world finishing techniques gave his pieces their unique appeal. Whether it was an ancient oriental lacquer technique or heavy Lucite it was effortlessly incorporated into his creations. He searched for forms within many design movements and distilled them down to their purist shapes. He quickly developed a network of artisans and craftsmen and always demanded the highest quality of materials and workmanship.
At was this point that he met MARK ECKMAN, a young industrial designer who had a line of Lucite furniture and lighting. They began a long collaboration, first in Lucite and then other materials. KARLS brother JOACHIM joined the business as it rapidly expanded into a full size furniture line sold in L.A., Miami, Chicago, Dallas Munich Germany and Tokyo.
At its height the NY Showroom had relocated to a 20,00 square foot penthouse on East 61st Street. The company ceased production in 1992.
Karl passed away in 1991 leaving a rich design legacy. He was honored with a one-man show at the New York School of Interior Design in 1994. Numerous articles about him have appeared in prestigious design journals and his original pieces are in great demand at auction houses and dealers in 20th century furniture.
Today KARL SPRINGER LTD provides authentication, appraisal and repair services. We continue to produce his designs consistent with his philosophy.