Gene Summers

Architect, Designer, Artist

The sculptural works of Gene Summers expose a modern sensibility that is rooted in architecture and art history. He worked with bronze, wood and glass, construction materials that reveal his architecture background (He was introduced to working with bronze with the Seagram Building.) and he used techniques such as lost wax casting, paying homage to ancient and traditional modes of artistic production. At the same time Summers’ forms offer a new and fresh perspective on functional design. They bridge the worlds of art and design, seamlessly adding elegance and comfort to the modern interior.

Gene Summers started his professional career the summer of 1950 when he was a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. His first job was working on the Farnsworth House just outside of Plano, Illinois with the modern master, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Following graduation, Summers became Mies van der Rohe’s right hand man working on a vast range of projects, including the Seagram Building, New York and the National Gallery in Berlin. Summers works with Mies van der Rohe for sixteen years.

In 1967 Summers became a partner at C.F. Murphy Associates where he added more landmark structures to his resume; McCormick Center, Chicago, Kemper Arena, Kansas City, and O’Hare Hilton, Chicago among numerous acclaimed buildings. Summers relocated to California in 1973 when he partnered with Phyllis Lambert to form Ridgeway Ltd. Together, Summers and Lambert designed, developed, restored and renovated properties and buildings, most notably the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, for which they collaborated with the artist Jim Dine.

Summers began creating furniture and sculptures in the mid-1980s. The following works are thoughtfully and carefully executed forms of the highest quality.

Gene Summers 1928–2011

Modernist architect Gene Summers started his illustrious career in 1950 working with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Directly involved with landmark structures such as the Farnsworth House, Seagramb uilding and the National Gallery of Berlin, Summers earned a reputation as Mies’ right hand man. Hired upon completion of the graduate program at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Summers worked with Mies for sixteen years.

In 1967 Summers became a partner at C.F. Murphy Associates where he completed the McCormick Center of Chicago and Kemper Arena in Kansas City among many other remarkable buildings. In 1973, Summers relocated to California where he partnered with Phyllis Lambert whom he had met during construction of the Seagram building. Together, he and Lambert designed, developed, restored and renovated properties and buildings, most notably the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles for which they collaborated with the artist Jim Dine.

Auction Results Gene Summers

GENE SUMMERS, F29 stool | wright20.com

Gene Summers

F29 stool

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $16,250
GENE SUMMERS, L2 floor lamp | wright20.com

Gene Summers

L2 floor lamp

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $15,000
GENE SUMMERS, F19 coffee table | wright20.com

Gene Summers

F19 coffee table

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $10,625
GENE SUMMERS, dining table, model F16 | wright20.com

Gene Summers

dining table, model F16

estimate: $8,000–10,000
result: $7,500
GENE SUMMERS, F6 coffee table | wright20.com

Gene Summers

F6 coffee table

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $6,250
GENE SUMMERS, A14 andirons | wright20.com

Gene Summers

A14 andirons

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $6,250
GENE SUMMERS, F43A bench | wright20.com

Gene Summers

F43A bench

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $5,625
GENE SUMMERS, F22 stool | wright20.com

Gene Summers

F22 stool

estimate: $5,000–7,000
result: $5,000