November 26th, 2011
Danish Teak Classics will soon be collaborating with Rapson-Inc. in an event to introduce a selection of Ralph Rapson lounge chairs being put back into production. Starting with the most famous and beloved designs, Rapson-Inc. has begun producing these thoughtfully-designed, modern pieces for the public once again. Rapson-Inc. originally began in 1950 while Ralph and Mary Rapson were living in Boston and Ralph was working as an architect and professor at MIT. At the time, there was a shortage of modern furniture on the market fit for Ralph's modern building designs. The couple worked collaboratively on the pieces, with Mary seeing to all the fine details, finances and promotion. Today, Rapson-Inc. remains in the family, now run by Toby Rapson, son and business partner at Rapson Architects of the late Ralph Rapson. Working with Ralph's design archive, the design team at Rapson Architects and master craftsman Jonathan Loeck, Rapson-Inc. has reproduced the Rapson Rocker first designed by Ralph at Cranbrook in 1939. We can't think of a better way to remember the man behind the designs than to reintroduce the public to his works, especially at a time when he has been receiving increasing notice as one of the foremost important American modernist architects.
Ralph Rapson had a prolific career, spending 70 years of his life shaping and defining American Modernism. His unique, clean, comic sketches caught the eye of Eliel Saarinen, the most influential early modernist architect in Finland, and landed Rapson a scholarship under his tutorial at Cranbrook Academy in Michigan. His class roster reads like a who's-who list of top mid-century modern designers: Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, Henry Bertoia, and Florence Schust (Knoll). Rapson went on to work for the Saarinen's in their American firm, taught and studied at the New Bauhaus school in Chicago, designed the Case Study House 4 – the Rapson Greenbelt House, designed a line of furniture for Knoll in 1945, then opened his own furniture studio, Rapson-Inc. in 1950. Over his long, prosperous career, Rapson won many competitions and awards, including the 2007 Dwell Lounge competition at age 92. He also oversaw the redesign of his bentwood rocker, the first of his designs to be reintroduced in 2002.
Danish Teak Classics is proud to be a part of the reintroduction of this line of Rapson classics. Select Rapson chairs will be on show in the DTC showroom starting in January 2012. with a special opening event on December 29th. Please stop by to see these beautiful pieces by our own local iconic modernist architect, Ralph Rapson. Over the month of December, we will be highlighting different aspects or projects of Rapson's illustrious career, so be sure to check back.
Caroline Engel for Danish Teak Classics