Monday, February 6, 2012

Josef Frank Exhibit on Tour in US....

I think there is a Josef Frank revival going on....
I keep seeing his prints everywhere and I gotta admit...


Who was the guy behind the oversized prints?

His past is almost as colorful as the prints he designed.  Frank was born an Austrian but fled to Sweden to escape the Nazis.  He was an architect, artist and designer.  You might recognize his designs which were recently seen in a limited addition furniture collection at Anthropologie.  Frank's designs were actually produced from 1909 to 1950.  It is amazing that the organic oversized flora and fauna and wildlife  that Frank created almost 100 years ago is still coveted in the design world today but it is and in a big way!  

I assembled a few of my favorites from the 170 or more designs Frank created...


The pattern he sent to Estrid Ericson, head of the Svenskt Tenn design team, who gave Frank shelter and a place to work when he fled Austria to Sweden.  This was designed during the time he lived in NYC.  He sent it to Estrid for her 50th birthday.

Just as "at home" in todays interiors as during
the time he designed them 62 plus years ago!

We've all had a love affair with the astrid chair, right?  Did you know it was a Josef Frank design? I can't find proof, but I'll bet Anthropologie changed the spelling to Astrid to make it a little more American cause I'm guessing it was named to pay homage to  Estrid Ericson.. I wish Anthropologie still offered it!

Estrid has this pattern framed and hung in her apartment.  
"Three islands in the black sea fabric" 
The black background represents the sea..

Celotocaulis fabric in green and white is crisp and fresh..


See how dynamic a simple chair becomes with this fabric?


Hawaii in brown is one of the most popular of all the fabrics.
It is my favorite!  I can think of a hundred ways to use this fabric!

 Frank designed his fabrics so you could layer the various patterns together as shown in the room below with the Hawaii fabric as drapery and the celotocaulis fabric on the sofa.  He coined the phrase "accidentism".  He thought the randomness provided a "necessary feeling of variety that a planned space could not provide".  


Another example of the Hawaii fabric with a solid sofa.. 
personally I prefer it with the patterned sofa, how bout you?


Hawaii adds a punch to this simple chair...
or a real "wow" when used on a larger piece of furniture...


The windows pattern is simple and clean  ....

The windows pattern is a great way to bring nature inside...


What can I say....just darn funky, fun look....


Green Birds fabric is also clean and bright.  This was another pattern designed during the 10 years he spent living in NYC.  He studied american wildlife books in order to design this pattern.  

See how updated and current this wing chair looks in green birds?

or here used for a shower curtain here...

Aramal fabric with its bright green and blue....

Great chair...

 Brazil Fabric is tropical and hot...

If you aren't afraid of pattern and color...
wallpaper a wall and add some pillows for fun!

Can you picture this in a sunroom or a beach house?

Paired with white in this kitchen for another dynamic look...

Are you like me and dying for  the look but can't afford a room, piece of furniture or chair covered in the fabrics?  There are other ways to get the look... may be a yard of fabrics, one roll of wallpaper or some of he smaller  items are available from  Just Scandinavian in NYC!  Here are some examples..

Cool Totes

Lampshades are available...

Wallpaper at $150.00 per roll...

plastic serving trays...
(call for pricing)
If you don't sew, here are lots of pillows available
 here is a pillow in Teheran pattern in black...

if you like the look but just want a little of it
 may be just placemats at $22 each is enough? 

A yard of the fabric stretched over a board could become a piece of art over a bed or in your family room...
Notice the pillows in Rox & Fix and Loops patterns?

How about wallpapering an accent wall as shown here...

Just Scandinavian shop is located in New York City in Tribeca.   All the items shown in this post are available there and they ship!

 if the originals aren't in your budget but you like the look, 
you could buy some knockoffs like these....

 Pottery Barn, chair with Frankesque fabric...


Pottery Barn shower curtain in Frankesque pattern....



Ikea has a Klippan slipcover in a Frankesque pattern....

Ikea has these panels available which are
 large scale similar to Frank's designs. 


 I am saving my pennies in my new "josef" bank...

If I peaked your interest and you want to know more about this icon you can click here or
travel to see the exhibit in person here:

 The Enduring Years of Josef Frank exhibit is currently touring the United States.  Currently on display in the Nordic Museum of Heritage in Seattle, Washington til Feb 19th, the exhibit will open March 2012 at theAmerican Swedish Institute in Minneapolis and in the fall at the Swedish embassy in Washington, DC.  

What do you think?  Do you love the look?
Let me hear your thoughts?

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  1. That wing back chair is so cool--love that green bird pattern! Great picks!:)

    1. I like that one too Jillian! He was amazing wasn't he?

  2. Lisa: Great blog post! If you happen to be in Philadelphia on September 22, the American Swedish Historical Museum is opening an exhibition featuring Josef Frank's work. Read more at or on the Facebook event:


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