Archive of the Crucible Furniture Corporation's product photographs, internal documents, and marketing materials: a treasury of American furniture design.
Very good plus.
Crucible Furniture Design Archive
"The designer [David Weinstock]...slammed chairs of different materials on the concrete floor. They bent, broke, or crumpled. Then he slammed down a ductile iron chair...It bounced, undamaged. He made his point, and the sale."<br /><br />[Double-page advertisement for Republic Steel, featuring Weinstock]
Weinstock's Crucible Corporation supplied seating to many iconic locations, including the 5th Avenue Revlon Salon, the Kennedy Airport, and San Francisco's Fairmount Hotel, among many other public buildings. As a supplier to architectural, institutional, and commercial interior designers for over 50 years, Crucible was a significant contributor to the 'look' of the public-facing 20th century: not only showpieces like the aforementioned lobbies and lounges, but the everyday stools, chairs, and tables of of theaters, classrooms, and restaurants; the shapes one sees and touches every day that form the greater shape of contemporary life. Born in 1924, the Polish-born Weinstock was most active in the 1940s through the 1970s, and by the later decades of his career was one of the last furniture designers and manufacturers remaining in New York City.
This archive includes original product photographs, magnificently alone or staged on plush carpeting, set off by marble busts; sales brochures, design specs, advertising materials, clippings from industry publications (among them: Furniture Production Magazine's tech report on secret developments in Rigid Foam; an article on the special requirements of psychiatric ward design with photo credits to Crucible, alongside Herman Miller and Knoll); and advertisements featuring Weinstock or other Crucible personnel and products. A curious inclusion is one small notebook of design sketches followed by handwritten notes: various puns, quotations, and aphorisms, possibly intended for advertising use, along with a series of apparently original observations on city scenes and the passers-by who sooner or later would sit in a Crucible chair (e.g., "She wore her martyrdom & her goodness like jewelry (woman on a bus)"; "To the world he contributed nothing but demands & complaints").
A fascinating collection from a firm whose craftsmanship and conception of public space helped form the essential experience of waiting in comfort or anticipation, in liminal spaces; from gleaming white hotel lobby barrel chairs like cushioned bathtubs, to the vast connected rows of lecture hall seating, to the imperceptibly nervous-making lines of airport lounges: a smooth silhouette with a core of iron in the bustling heart of the city and the century.
[New York]: n.p, [circa 1960-1970]. 12'' x 9'' (folders). Three original smooth white printed folders with CRUCIBLE printed to exterior; versos matte red. (1) contains: Several dozen items, including a stapled catalogue of public area multiple seating; hand-annotated design specs and full folded blueprints for a signature Crucible table; news articles and clippings from design industry publications; double-page advertisement for Republic Steel's Merchant Pig Iron, featuring Weinstock. (2) contains: Four leaves of chair design sketches on various company stationery; advertising mock-ups and logo design; small notebook of design sketches followed by handwritten notes; 16-page catalogue;  page catalogue, unbound but with three-hole punches to left side; additional loose pages of catalogue photography and specs. (3) contains: 42 original 8'' x 10'' glossy black and white photographs; 16 smaller original photographs of assorted sizes, one in color; and 7 additional 8'' x 10'' photographs with printed specs and Crucible logo, apparently intended for catalogue use. Photographer and/or designer names stamped on versos of some photos; pen or colored pencil notations on rectos and versos of several photos. Crucible employee Vera White's name written or printed on a significant number of documents throughout the collection. Contents in generally very good condition, with many photographs fine; wear and chipping to magazine pages; slight yellowing and general edgewear to documents throughout.
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