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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Milo Baughman

After studying architecture and product design at the Art Center School of Los Angeles and the California School of the Arts, Milo Baughman (1923-2003) took a job with the Frank Brothers department store as a salesman and a window dresser. On the side, he became involved with the influential publication Furniture Forum.

Glenn of California hired Baughman to design a new collection. Working mainly with walnut, Formica and wrought iron, Baughman created simple, understated pieces; many were conceived as space dividers, functioning admirably in the open plan interiors characteristic of the California Modern style.

In addition to Glenn of California, Baughman designed for a number of furniture companies starting in the mid-1940s until his death, including Mode Furniture, The Inco Company, Pacific Iron, Murray Furniture of Winchendon, Arch Gordon, Design Institute America, George Kovacs, Directional, Henredon and Drexel, among others. He is most famous, however, for his longtime association with Thayer Coggin of High Point, North Carolina.

After briefly running his own workshop, Baughman began a long association in 1953 with Thayer Coggin, a North Carolina furniture company that lasted until his death in 2003. His stylish furniture proved very popular with middle class consumers, and he quickly became a household name. Among his noteworthy designs for the company are the 820-400 chaise (1954) and the leather and chrome 951-103 arm chair (1962).

In 1969 he was invited by Brigham Young University to establish a Department of Environmental Design, where he continued as chairman and adjunct professor for several years, while continuing his design business. He moved to Virginia for twelve  years and later returned to BYU as a senior lecturer. He also lectured over the years at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Univertity of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tennessee.

Baughman’s work was included in the Whitney Museums 1985 exhibit High Styles: Twentieth Century American Design. In recognition of his monumental impact on American taste, Baughman was inducted into the Furniture Designers Hall of Fame in 1987.

From, and

Desk for Glenn of California, 1949

Credenza for Glenn of California, 1950s

Scoop chair for Glenn of California, 1952

Drexel Perspective sideboard, 1952

820-400 chaise for Thayer Coggin, 1954

Lounge chair and ottoman for Thayer Coggin, 1950s

951-103 arm chair for Thayer Coggin, 1962

Sectional and tables for Thayer Coggin, 1960s

Lazy susan coffee table for Thayer Coggin, 1960s
Groovy Treasures (Antique Gallerry), Lewisville, TX
I saw this Thayer Coggin table at an antique mall near me over the weekend,
and it was pretty impressive.  The seller is asking $750 for it.


  1. his designs are truly inspirational. thanks for sharing!

  2. Nice post. I love Milo Baughman's designs. Last Spring I went to an estate sale and found a M.B. lounge chair near the trash, covered in leaves and dirt. I asked the owner if I could buy it and he said, "You know what, just take that. It's a piece of trash now". Your trash, my treasure! It cleaned up beautifully.

  3. I have the round Thayer Coggin sectional designed by Milo, that is a three section sectional, with the round coffe table and matching end tables, handed down to me by my sister, whom had it since brand new. It 40 yrs old or more and it needs restoring, recovevering, but need to be done by a pro who understands the museum quality of the peiece. I would entertain offers for it from the right buyer.

    1. That sounds like a great piece. I'm sure there are many people who would love to buy it from you!