Thursday, October 9, 2008

Frank Lloyd Wright for Heritage-Henredon







In the mid 1950s Heritage Henredon Furniture Industries, High Point & Morganton NC engaged Frank Lloyd Wright to develop a line of furniture for a High Point company. This might have been the first time that a free-lance designer with an international reputation was engaged by a High Point company. High Point’s furniture manufacturers had long employed designers, both in-house and free-lance, to help create new product, but none had reached out to the recognized design leaders to lend creativity and prestige to their products in quite the same way.

Wright was in his early eighties, but hardly retired from designing. At the time he had design studios in Wisconsin and Arizona, and he was working on a number of projects. His concept for the Heritage line was simple, yet elegant, emphasizing geometry and the surface appearance of its Honduras mahogany with only minimal ornament.

The line was introduced in September 1955 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, where Wright explained that the forms were “mathematically correct,” designed for the human figure, and functionally adaptable for easy living. However, the line was expensive and despite a widespread media campaign by Young & Rubicam, a well-known public relations firm based in New York City, little was actually produced. Examples from this line are sought after by today’s collectors of mid-century modern furniture.

Heritage was founded in High Point by Elliott Wood in 1932. Henredon was founded in Morganton in 1945 by three men, and the company’s name is derived from their names: Henry Wilson, Ralph Edwards, and Don Van Noppen. Wood was an investor in Henredon. Good design has long been the hallmark of both firms. The companies were united through a cross-licensing agreement in 1948. Together they developed the relationship with Wright to produce his furniture designs. Today Heritage (as Drexel Heritage) and Henredon are owned by Furniture Brands International.

Visit our website for more information on the Furniture Heritage Project and the exhibition that opens in May 2009

http://www.highpointmuseum.org/

9 comments:

Clutter Hall said...

Excellent! What a wonderful idea to publish research on the furniture industry in North Carolina in this way. I hope you'll get many responses and comments from those who have additional material on the topics.
Keep up the good work!

Michael Kline said...

It's great to read about this stuff. I wish I could add to the historical discussion but I'm so biased to pottery. But I will say that I enjoy the fruits of Henry, Ed, and Don every night when I sit/lay down on my Henredon sofa!

Kat said...

I own the end table (2) and the coffee table in the black and white photo. My grandparents bought them new and right now my husband is refinishing them. They look fantastic. I wish I could acquire the dinning room table.

Ryan said...

I have a Dinning Set for Sale Stamped Heritage & Henredon Walnut wood Table extends to 12 Ft China, Buffet, 6 Chairs Make an Offer 2 hrs North of Green Bay Wi Was Bought in Chicago around 1957 Have the receipt for the Table pads and 6 chairs 1057.00 in 1957 Not sure how much the Table, China, Buffet were but must have been pricey

Alan Eis said...

Table pads made to the exact size and shape of your table. Several grades to choose so one will suit your budget. Wholesale manufacturer providing Custom Table Pads to furniture stores, distributors, and interior designers. Personalized custom table pads are affordable and fun when you order from tablepadscustom. We makes table pads for conference tables, dining room tables, kitchen tables etc.

marie grabo said...

I have a buffet that is stamped Heritage Henredon that I purchased through a second hand store. Not sure of it's value. anyone know?

Better homes said...

It's nice to read about this post. Heritage Henredon furniture look's fantastic, wish I could get one.

Better homes said...

Thanks for sharing valuable information on Heritage Henredon Furniture.

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