Milo Baughman (1925-)

American furniture designer, born Kansas, and active California and Utah. Baughman’s family moved to Long Beach, California in the mid 1920s.

197

A highly creative child, he was given carte blanche at age 13 to design the new family home. Baughman served in the Air Force during World War II, and also designed officers clubs. After the war, he studied architecture and product design at the Art Center School of Los Angeles, and the California School of the Arts.

His training complete, Baughman took a job with the Frank Brothers department store, an emporium noted for its design focus. He worked as a salesman and a window dresser; on the side, he became involved with the influential publication Furniture Forum. His growing reputation soon attracted furniture manufacturer Glenn of California, which hired Baughman to design a new collection. Working mainly with walnut, formica and wrought iron, Baughman created simple, understated pieces; many were conceived as space dividers, functioning admirably in the open plan interiors characteristic of the California Modern style.

After briefly running his own workshop, Baughman began a long and fruitful association in 1953 with Thayer Coggin, a North Carolina furniture company. His accessibly stylish furniture proved very popular with middle class consumers, and he quickly became a household name. He has designed hundreds of pieces for Thayer Coggin to date; among the noteworthy are the 820-400 chaise (1954), the leather and chrome 951-103 arm chair (1962), and the Shelter sofa (1967).

Baughmans work was included in the Whitney Museums 1985 exhibit "High Styles: Twentieth Century American Design". In recognition of his monumental impact on American taste, Baughman was inducted into the Furniture Designers Hall of Fame in 1987. Today, he directs the Environmental Design Department at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

-> More designers