Adrian Pearsall (1925 – 2011) was an American designer, born in Trumansburg, New York. He served in US Navy and met his wife, Dorie, at the age of 17, marrying her in 1950 after returning from the war. Pearsall trained as an architect after the war and founded the renowned furniture company Craft Associates, after having created furniture with his wife in their basement. His designs are seen as having brought elegance and stylish designs to the masses, as he used affordable materials and designed simple yet classic furniture. Pearsall had a passion for craftsmanship and it was this that pushed him to create timeless designs. He also found a love of yachts and worked a lot on restoration of yachts and lakeside houses, most famously his own cottage named ‘Uneeda Rest’.
After the war, Adrian Pearsall studied architecture at the University of Illinois but decided to go into furniture fully, two years after graduating. His understanding of physical form and basis in architecture is visible in the study designs of sofas and chairs, while his restorative work around buildings and yachts shows that architecture was never lost on him. Pearsall is remembered as a philanthropist and creative thinker, whose work never truly ceased, even after his retirement. He founded two furniture companies: Craft Associates and Comfort Designs, and was nominated for inclusion into the American Furniture Hall of Fame in 2008.
Adrian Pearsall Craft Sofa (circa 1950) L: 290cm D:82cm, walnut wood and vinyl, Craft USA
The Adrian Pearsall Craft Sofa is characteristic of his Modernist style. The use of leather and the low-slung design is reminiscent of designs by Le Corbusier and Vladimir Kagan. His work has a sculptural quality that speaks of the blurring of design and art in functional objects, while his use of affordable materials allowed many to appreciate his furniture designs. The elongated linear shape of the sofa makes it a statement piece, yet remains subtle and subdued with its organic tonal range. The polished legs of walnut wood compliment the polished black leather, as the two side cushions offer a contrasting texture. The strong rectangular shapes and firm cushioning places the sofa within a mode of sophistication and aesthetically concerned furniture.