Knoll Design

From the Collection of Alvin H. Schechter

The original purchaser of the present lot was Alvin H. Schechter (b. 1933), a retired design and marketing consultant who was the chairman and chief executive officer of The Schechter Group in New York, a leading firm in the field of corporate branding and identity. In 1995 his firm merged with Interbrand US, the world’s leading brand consultancy, with Mr. Schechter appointed as its chairman. Clients of Interbrand-Schechter included H.J. Heinz, I.B.M., Mobil, Pepsico, Volvo and other Fortune 500 companies.

A great admirer of Knoll furniture and a Master of Fine Arts graduate of Yale University, Mr. Schechter began his distinguished career as a designer for Raymond Loewy Associates and is listed as a notable design and marketing consultant by Marquis Who’s Who. The recipient of numerous professional awards, he is an honored member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Package Design Council International. His influential essay, “Measuring the Value of Corporate and Brands Logos” Design Management Journal, Vol. 4, N° 1 (Winter 1993), raised a new awareness of the importance of graphic design in building corporate identity, which was a focus of Florence Knoll’s own practice in developing the Knoll company brand.

Each time I go East I see something you have done. It is always good, and I feel grateful to you for doing such work in a world where mediocrity is the norm.

Charles Eames in a letter to Florence Knoll

Florence Knoll 1917–2019

Florence Knoll (née Florence Schust) was born in Michigan in 1917. As a child, she was enrolled in the Kingswood School, a division of the Cranbrook School of Art. Eliel and Loja Saarinen, parents of architect Eero Saarinen, quickly noted her talents, and she became a close friend of the family often joining them on vacations to their summer home in Finland. In 1935, Knoll studied urban planning at Columbia University and continued her degree at the Architectural Association of London from 1938 to 1939. World War II brought Knoll back to the United States where she finished her degree in architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago studying under Mies van der Rohe. After graduating, Knoll moved to Massachusetts to work in the office of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer.

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Auction Results Florence Knoll