Jerry Siano

Ad Man, Artist, Creative Spirit

The present lot is from the life collection and estate of Jerry Siano, Sr. (1935 – 2020).

Jerry Siano was a celebrated advertising executive performing at the highest level during Madison Avenue’s golden age. Chairman, CEO, and President of N.W. Ayer in Manhattan, he began working for the company as a designer in 1957 and stayed until 1994, gradually working his way up the ranks. He was known for designing ads both from an artist’s and an ad man’s perspective and is best remembered for leading several prominent advertising campaigns including “Reach out and touch someone” (AT&T), “Let your fingers do the walking” (Yellow Pages), and “A Diamond is forever” (De Beers). Siano was one of the minds behind the US Army’s “Be all you can be” slogan and he played a key role in conceiving the Absolut Vodka brand (including the name and bottle design) and their “Absolut Perfection” ad campaign. After leaving Ayer, he founded his own successful Philadelphia-based agency.

Siano was not simply an ad man, but an artist. He created his own work beyond the offices of Madison Avenue and was represented at his eponymous gallery in Philadelphia and showed in Manhattan as well. Not bound to any one medium, Siano worked with wood, weavings, ceramics, and painting and was an active member of the Senior Artists Initiative in Philadelphia. Settling near New Hope, Pennsylvania, he befriended both George and Mira Nakashima, which led to his purchase of an exceptional bubinga dining table by Mira. Rago is honored to offer a selection of furnishings from his estate and art he created during his long and successful career.

A classic design is something that every time you look at it, you accept it as it is and you see no way of improving it.

Warren Platner

Warren Platner

Warren Platner (1919—2006) was an American architect and interior designer whose seminal furniture collection produced by Knoll International remains an icon of 1960s modernism today. In 1941, Platner graduated with a degree in architecture from Cornell and soon went to work for the renowned Raymond Loewy and I.M. Pei between 1945—1950 later earning the Rome Prize in architecture in 1955.

While working in the office of Eero Saarinen during the mid-1960s, he released a collection of chairs, ottomans, and tables that has been in continuous production by Knoll ever since. The collection is both elegant and understated consisting of steel wire furniture that rests on a sculptural base of nickel-plated steel rods. The following year he opened his firm Warren Platner Associates later designing the highly regarded interiors of the Ford Foundation headquarters in 1967, Georg Jensen Design Center in 1968, and the glamorous Windows on the World restaurant of the World Trade Center, New York in 1976.

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