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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lawrence Peabody

Lawrence Peabody (1924-2002) was an American architect, interior designer and furniture designer. He was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and he studied at Rhode Island School of design, receiving a degree in 1950, after having served in the U. S. Navy. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. While there, he met and fell in love with Bette Taarland of Norway, who was a professor at the school. They married in 1952.

In 1955 Peabody started the design firm Lawrence Peabody and Associates in Boston. Clients included Sears, Roebuck & Co., Kohler, Regal Rugs, Boyd Lighting, Chapman Lamps and Richardson Brothers.

Peabody also helped design numerous hotels in the United States and Caribbean, including the Carriage House in Kohler, Wisconsin, Malliouhana Hotel in Anguilla, British West Indies and Fager Island in Ocean City, Maryland.

Peabody owned a home in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and along with friend DeWitt Peters, the founder of Haiti's Le Centre d'Art, he helped promote interest in primitive Haitian art.

According to his daughter, his mission in life was to beautify everything, and many of his designs were in response to what he felt was kitsch and ugliness in furniture design.

From joshuahudelson.com and lawrencepeabody.tumblr.com


Prototype fiberglass chair
1stdibs.com

Walnut bench/coffee table
liveauctioneers.com

'His and Hers' lounge chairs for Selig
1stdibs.com

Calico ash credenza
1stdibs.com

Rocker for Richardson Nemschoff
etsy.com - 20cModern

Dining set for Richardson Nemschoff
flickr.com - Kenny K

Lounge chairs
1stdibs.com

Outwitted fabric for Sears
madewithlovebyhannah.com

Tempest fabric for Sears
vi.sualize.us

10 comments:

  1. What a great designer! Absolutely gorgeous lines to all his pieces. Thanks for the informative post, as always!

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    1. I want to find some of his pieces now!

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  2. Beautiful in every way! Who knew Sears was so hip!!! Love that fabric. Although I certainly wouldn't turn down that bench. HELLO GORGEOUS! Love this post ... always learning something from you. It's a joy!

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    1. I was surprised by the Sears thing too. They should have stuck to the old business model, I think. That bench and those Selig upholstered chairs are my favorites.

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  3. Awesome post. Great to learn more about a new-to-me designer! I'd seen those Selig fiberglass chairs before, but never knew who had designed them.

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    1. I actually have more fun writing about some of the less-well-known designers than I do the icons. Let's face it, just about everything that can be said about Charles and Ray Eames has been said already.

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  4. I have a table, four chairs and a buffet from the Peabody Collection. I wish I had two more of the chairs. I had great hope for this tribute page started by Larry Peabody's grandson. http://lawrencepeabody.tumblr.com/

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    1. Have you posted about them? I'd love to see them!

      The grandson's page was one of my sources, and I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more there.

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  5. I actually have a awesome mod planter he did for Haeger pottery in the 70's. You wouldn't believe what I had to go through to find out he designed it, and to this day its the only piece from his line for Haeger I've ever encountered. A man who wrote a book on Haeger was the one who finally solved the mystery for me and he said it was indeed a very rare piece and wasn't produced for very long or in big numbers. (Which is a shame because it is awesome work.)

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    1. I'd love to see a picture of your planter.

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