Paul McCobb stands out as one of America’s most influential mid-century designers, responsible for transforming interiors across the country with his modern takes on classic forms. In addition of offering a dedicated auction for McCobb's works, hundreds of designs from McCobb’s impressive oeuvre have passed through our galleries—making us a top resource for buying and selling his work.
Special thanks to Jonathan Goldstein for his dedication and thorough research on all things Paul McCobb. For the source materials and documentation, Wright also thanks: Gerard O'Brien / Reform Gallery, Mark Naylon / Modern Living Supplies, Melissa McCobb Hubbel and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.
The Irwin Collection: Contemporary Furniture
Design is proportion, so I design things for rooms not vacuums. Form and line are controlled by the obvious need for simplicity.
Linear: Designed by Paul McCobb
Executive and Secretarial Series
Timeline of Projects and Manufacturers
1946 Lamps for Raymor
1949 Planner Group by Winchendon Furniture, Directional Modern Upholstered Furniture by Custom Craft
1950 Planner Upholstered Furniture by Custom Craft, Directional Group by Furnwood Manufacturing, Predictor Carpet by Archibald Holmes, Textiles for Schiffer Prints
1951 Accent Group by New Era Glass, Predictor Group by O'Hearn Furniture, Lamps by Northcraft Lighting, Tonewood by Numa Plastics Corporation
1952 Pavilion Group by Arbuck, The Irwin Collection by Irwin Furniture (later manufactured by Calvin Furniture), Curvilinear Group by Custom Craft
1953 Mirrors by Bryce Originals, Ceramics by Philip Cutler Studio,Textiles by Riverdale and by Samuel J Aronsohn, Connoisseur Collection by H. Sacks & Sons, Upholstered Furniture by Meyer Gunther & Martini, Lamps by Excelsior Art Studios
1954 The Calvin Group by Calvin Furniture, The Metric Group Sectional Sofas by Custom Craft, Century Line Televisions and Radio by CBS-Columbia, Crystal Line Textiles by F Schumacher
1955 Executive Office Furniture by H. Sacks & Sons, 1300 Series Chairs by Custom Craft, Hi-Fi Consoles by Bell & Howell
1956 Tempo Tray by Bolta Products, Linear Group by Calvin Furniture, Ceramics by Ceramic Associates
1957 6000 Series by Calvin Furniture, Perimeter Group by Winchendon Furniture
Tiles for Pomona Tile Office, Accessories by Gift Craft Plastic, Door Handle by Grant Pulley and Hardware, Aluminum Concept Furniture for Alcoa, Hi-Fi's by Columbia (Formerly Bell & Howell)
1958 Living Wall by H. Sacks & Sons, Series 700 Kitchen Cabinets by Mutschler, Sheet Glass by Blue Ridge Glass (later American-Saint Gobain)
1959 Plastic Chair by St John Seating Corp, Contempri by Jackson Internationale
Furniture by Vilas (Canadian), Area Rug by Edward Fields
1960 Concept and Gallery Group by Child Craft, 6200 series Organ by Electro-Voice
1961 Planner Living Wall by Winchendon Furniture, Delineator Group by Lane, Series 690 Chairs by Blair Aluminum Furniture, Series 800 Office Arrangements by Mutschler
600 Series Air Conditioners by Nesbitt
1962 Symmetric Group by Widdicomb, Leyton 100 by Electro-Voice, Signature Group by Lane, Chair by Thonet, Heat Tray by Club Aluminum, Pre Fab Aluminum House Built In Furniture by Alside Inc., Daryl Products
1963 Components Collection by Lane, Videne by Goodyear, New England Collection by H. Sacks & Sons for Paul McCobb Showrooms, Grand Rapids Collection by Widdicomb
1964 Planters by Architectural Pottery
1965 Unnamed Furniture Group by H. Sacks & Sons for Paul McCobb Showrooms
1967 Philco House of the Future
A chair is seen from all angles like a piece of sculpture, it should be light and open, to increase the feeling of scale and the psychological effect of more space.
Paul McCobb 1917–1969
Paul McCobb studied painting at the Vesper George School of Art in Boston but never completed his course work. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Army Corps of Engineers but was honorably discharged shortly thereafter due to health issues. McCobb moved to New York to work as a product development engineer in the new medium of plastics and in 1945, he opened his own design firm, Paul McCobb Associates. In 1950, McCobb launched his first mass produced line of furniture known as the Planner Group in collaboration with B.G. Mesburg; this collection, with its sleek lines and warm finishes, was a hit, and the pieces were showcased in living rooms across America.
McCobb took inspiration from classic American styles like Windsor and Shaker, but transformed them into new and modern forms. As McCobb stated, “we don’t design fads,” and indeed his designs are imbued with a timeless quality. Further, McCobb pioneered the concept of the room divider, to which he attached desk sets, cabinets and shelves, coining the term “living walls.” His work was featured prominently in the Museum of Modern Art’s Good Design exhibitions (1950–1955), and he received MoMA Good Design awards in 1950, 1951, 1953, and 1954. In the 1960s, McCobb worked as an interior design consultant for corporations like Columbia Records, Singer Manufacturing Company, Bell & Howell Company, and Alcoa Aluminum Corporation. McCobb died in 1969 and today his designs are featured in the museum collections of the Copper Hewitt Design Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, among many others.
Auction Results Paul McCobb
Connoisseur Collection desk, model 7021 and armchair, model 9102