Paul McCobb

A sofa table from McCobb’s Planner Group, 1955. Mccobb photograph courtesy of Wright and Brian Franczyk Photography

Trained as an artist in Boston before moving to New York in the late 1940s, Paul McCobb made his name designing retail displays and furniture. By the mid-‘50s, he was known as “America’s decorator” and his style — a combination of modern lines and forms with traditional details and motifs — was transforming the burgeoning communities of post-war suburbia

McCobb’s Planner Group — a low-cost, Shaker-inspired furniture line produced for Winchendon in 1950 — was the first modular design to be mass marketed and affordably priced. Using traditional proportions to complement the clean lines of modern plywood furniture, McCobb was able to appeal to a younger generation and their more conservative parents. But because the height of his popularity coincided with the post-war
housing boom, his work was produced on a massive scale and went largely overlooked by collectors of mid-century design until a recent spike in interest due, in large part, to baby-boomer nostalgia.

Senn is the owner of Detroit-based R. Senn, Furnituremaker.

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