|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
Born in Magdeburg, Germany, Alfons Bach studied architecture at the University of Berlin and at the Reimann School.
came to the U.S. in 1926 and established an industrial design firm in
1932 in New York City. In 1937 he moved to Stamford, Connecticut,
becoming president of the American Designers Institute in 1943.
He continued his successful practice in Palm Beach, Florida, in 1959, and retired to Pensacola, Florida in 1992.
|Biography from The Artisfun Gallery:|
|Alfons Bach was a U.S. industrial designer, born in Magdeburg, Germany
on June 19, 1904. He grew up in Munich and studied in Berlin, as
well as, other European schools. He worked in film set design and
studied architecture at the Reimann School and the University of
Berlin. He exhibited a design in Paris in 1925. |
He immigrated to New York City in 1926 and became a freelance
industrial designer, founding the design firm of Alfons Bach Associates
in Manhattan in 1932.
In the 1930s and '40s, he designed for
the Lloyd Manufacturing Company in Menominee, Michigan.
Influenced by the Bauhaus School, Bach's designs were streamlined to
reflect American machine-age tastes. His work was included in
contemporary industrial art exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, and in surveys of the century's design at the Museum of Modern
Clients included Heywood-Wakefield Furniture Company,
International Silver, Philco and Trans World Airlines. He located
to Stamford, Connecticut in 1937, where he designed and developed the
Ridgeway Shopping Center. Bach designed and built his own home in
Stamford, Connecticut in 1938. He did designs for General
Electric; the carpet makers, Bigelow-Sanford; the metalsmiths, Keystone
Silver; the linen makers Pacific Mills and other clients.
became president of the American Designers Institute (ADI) in 1943 and
was awarded a Fellowship, which was honored by IDSA in 1965 after the
merger of the two societies. His honors included a medal from the
Industrial Designers Institute and a design award from the Fifth Avenue
In addition, Bach was also a noted painter.
His oils and watercolors were featured in numerous exhibitions in the
United States and Europe.
He was a member of the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and the Silvermine
Guild of Artists. He exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art 1934,
1936, 1938, the American Designers Institute in 1942 (prize), the
Modern Museum of Art, the New Jersey State Museum, the Philadelphia Art
Center, the Riverside (California) Art Association, the Los Angeles Art
Association, the Newark Museum of Art, the Rockford Art Association,
the Babcock Gallery 1948, the Silvermine Guild of Artists 1950, and the
Stamford Museum 1954.
Bach moved to Florida in 1959, where he
designed the Palm Trail Plaza, a marina apartment complex in Delray
Beach, completed in 1961.
A tubular steel table and two
chairs that he designed are at the Yale University Art Gallery.
James D. Beebe, a specialist in the history of the decorative arts,
said that tubular steel furniture designed by Mr. Bach for the Lloyd
Manufacturing Company was made at its factory in Menominee, Michigan
from the 1930's until 1947.
''It wasn't really until the
1930's that modernism took a really strong hold on furniture design''
in the United States, said Mr. Beebe, who is a master's degree
candidate at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative
Arts and is writing his thesis on the Lloyd company. He said that
designs done for the company by Mr. Bach and a colleague, Kem Weber,
are ''icons for their period'' in furniture design, which was 1930's
modernism, including more and more streamlining as time passed.
are fantastic pieces,'' Mr. Beebe said. ''You see the marriage of
design and industry; you see two people who were very proficient in the
design rhetoric for their time producing work for a company which was
highly significant in developing the tubular-steel manufacturing
technology that made this furniture affordable.''
style in this work was ''definitely not as angular as the Bauhaus
School,'' he added, but ''showed the transition between the Bauhaus and
the streamlined modern style.''
Describing the table at the
Yale gallery, David Barquist, a curator there, wrote in a 1992 book:
''This table exemplifies the overall rectilinearity of Bach's designs''
for the Lloyd Company.
In 1994, Bach donated his drawings and
papers to the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, where they remain
today, as well as, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
Bach and his wife Anita honeymooned in Hawaii, where they bought four
17th-century sliding-door panels that once belonged to a Kyoto Zen
temple. In 1989 they sold the panels to the Metropolitan Museum
of Art. Mrs. Bach said, ''We wanted them to be someplace where
they could be seen and taken care of.''
Alfons Bach retired to
Pensacola, Florida in 1992 and died at the age of 95 in a nursing home
in Pensacola, Florida on August 19, 1999.
Who Was Who in American Art
Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide
The New York Times, August 23, 1999, Obituary
Smithsonian Research Library
Social Security Death Index
|** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.|