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Vale Charles Pollock

The recent passing of the celebrated furniture designer gives us cause to reflect on the career of a pioneer.

Vale Charles Pollock


September 20th, 2013

Pollock, 83, was found dead in his studio in South Jamaica, Queens, after a fire tragically consumed the space where he often stayed overnight to work. Whilst the exact cause is still unknown, the circumstances surrounding his death are telling of his sustained passion for design, working late into the night, even in his eighties.

Swag Leg Collection Pollock Herman Miller

Swag Collection – George Nelson and Charles Pollock © Herman Miller

Schooled in Detroit, Michigan, Pollock was later awarded a full scholarship to the Pratt Institute; it was here that he began a career that would span six decades. In passing, like many of Pollock’s contemporaries, his work lives on with his good name, a lasting legacy.

silo pollock knoll

657 Sling Chair for Knoll © Knoll

The Pollock Executive Chair, his most famous piece, has been a staple in the permanent collection of furniture house, Knoll since its release in 1965. The chair has also been exhibited as a landmark example of 20th Century design in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institute and the Louvre in Paris.

Pollock Knoll pollock ececutive chair

Pollock Executive Chair for Knoll © Knoll

In 1958, Mr Pollock worked alongside George Nelson to produce the Swag Leg chair for Herman Miller. The success of this collaboration would catch the eye of Florence Knoll who would later begin a lasting, working relationship with Pollock.

Mr Pollocks first design for Knoll was the 657 Sling Chair, he would later go on to design the aforementioned Pollock Executive Chair, which would become one of the best-selling office chairs in history.

1204 Bernhardt

Charles Pollock and his CP Lounge for Bernhardt Design © Bernhardt Design

Pollock’s career would go on to see him collaborate with Italian manufacturer Castelli before taking a long hiatus from the industry. In 2012, president of Bernhardt Design, Jerry Helling, decided to seek Pollock out and proposed a return from obscurity. The result was the CP lounge chair, which was the embodiment of Mr Pollock’s aesthetic and the last commercial piece he would design.

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