Was one of the leading mid-century modern furniture designers of the 20th century and a favourite of mine. His American designs were forward-thinking and distinctive, but they were unpretentious and affordable. He was prolific and very influential; his work continues to be copied, reinvented and revived.
Beginning in the mid-1940’s, Baughman designed for many furniture companies, including Mode Furniture, Glenn of California, The Inco Company, Pacific Iron, Murray Furniture of Winchendon, Arch Gordon, Design Institute America, George Kovacs, Directional, Henredon and Drexel, among others, until his death. He is most famous, for his longtime association with Thayer Coggin Inc., which began in 1953, and lasted until his death in 2003.
Using mid-century modern materials like chrome, stainless, glass and leather, he created a new visual vocabulary, built on the legacy of two of my favourite designers, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer, however, his work was infused with the style and ease of the American West Coast.
For me, his designs were and remain “cool” and just like Mies’ designs, I would be proud to own something he designed…but then there’s always those Eames lounge chairs I dream about! Not that I would want a home filled with “iconic” designer pieces, just a few special pieces that make me smile whenever I look at them.
What about re-upholstering those chairs in Pantone’s colour of the year, “Radiant Orchid”? Might be fun!