Adrian Pearsall designed some of the most exuberant and expressive American furniture of the 1950s and ’60s. For verve and vivacity of form, he surpasses even Vladimir Kagan — whose work is the emblem of swinging, sexy mid-20th century modernism. Pearsall gave his imagination free rein, and his flamboyant, eye-catching styles are icons of what has become known as “Atomic Age” design.
Pearsall studied architectural engineering at the University of Illinois before opening his Pennsylvania furniture company, Craft Associates, in 1952, and that training shows in many designs. A Pearsall trademark, for example, is a lounge chair with an exceptionally tall, trapezoidal back, which give the pieces a skyscraper-like silhouette. Pearsall also had a talent for so-called “gondola” sofas — long, low-slung pieces with upswept ends. Many of Pearsall’s sofas and chairs are supported not by legs, but on gently arced walnut skids.
Pearsall also had a gift for tables, in particular glass-topped side and coffee tables with frames that have the look of an Alexander Calder stabile. As you will see from the offerings on these pages, Adrian Pearsall had flair, and his work adds an attention-getting, sculptural exclamation point to any décor.