American, 1894 - 1989
S. Karpen & Bros. Furniture Co., manufacturer (Chicago, Illinois)
Table, c. 1932
H. 20 1/4 x W. 17 5/8 in.
Born and raised in Blue Earth, Minnesota, Donald Deskey attended the 1925 Exposition in Paris and then studied interior design there before returning to the United States to promote the Art Deco style. His best-known commission was for the interior of New York’s Radio City Music Hall, which was completed in 1932. But Deskey also excelled at designing metal furniture, wedding the sumptuousness of French modernism to the technology of the Bauhaus. In this two-tiered side table, he combined walnut with chromium, a new material for the time. The shelves, shaped like orbiting disks, give the piece a futuristic appeal and reveal the 1930s interest in science fiction.