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McGuire Celebrates 60 Years | November 2008
SAN FRANCISCO (November 2008) - Founded in 1948 (and incorporated in 1949) by John and Elinor McGuire, The McGuire Furniture Company celebrates its 60th year! McGuire is world renowned for contemporary interpretations of classic forms, natural materials and advancing the concept of indoor/outdoor living. In celebration of its diamond anniversary, McGuire unveils its limited edition 60th Anniversary Chair and highlights a remarkable breadth of continuously available designs that spans six decades.
For 60 years, the McGuire Furniture Company of San Francisco has built a reputation for design and quality as lasting as the furniture it makes. The legacy established by John and Elinor McGuire lives on in the celebrated forms it has brought to the world of interior design. The company was founded with the notion that the natural strength and beauty of rattan, coupled with classic design and a spirit of innovation, could craft furniture that is as comfortable in formal living and dining rooms as in casual restaurants, board rooms and yachts.
Rachel Kohler, Group President - Kohler Interiors, notes that one of the most exciting characteristics of McGuire is its versatility. "McGuire furniture has a feeling of relaxed sophistication. Today's consumers have diverse tastes, combining what they love from the styles of the past with fresh, new interpretations of present designs. Put a McGuire original next to a fine antique and the two immediately establish a rapport, because both are designed in the classic tradition of great furniture, which uses beautiful materials simply and sensitively," she says. As McGuire celebrates its 60th anniversary, the company is poised for growth, maintaining its classicism while focusing on new categories, continuing its legacy for years to come.
McGuire's unique manufacturing processes using rattan and rawhide bindings are perfected through the creation of designs by John and Elinor McGuire, and Eleanor Forbes, the famed interior design director of San Francisco based Gump's. The A-1 Lounge Chair designed by Elinor McGuire is a prime example of the smart simplicity that McGuire's legendary designs exude. Circa 1959.
McGuire introduces another exotic material to the interior design community - bamboo. McGuire imports choice Black Brown, Yellow-Gold and the rarest Mottled "Shina Chiku," from Japan and China. Today, McGuire has more than 20 bamboo tables in its collection, including many of the original designs like the BA-1 Octagonal Dining Table. Its design made an impact when introduced, taking the place of more grand and formal dining tables. Circa 1966.
McGuire also unveils its famed M-90 Cracked Ice® Chair. The new design shatters forever the image of what rattan furniture could be, given the creativity and craftsmanship it deserves. While the chair has inspired many imitators, none have duplicated its construction or unique pattern - the design patent is owned exclusively by McGuire. Circa 1968.
Elinor McGuire develops one of McGuire's most beloved designs - the M-59 Rattan Target® host chair. Classic and contemporary, this hand-crafted chair offers a virtual canvas for any designer. Finished by skilled artisans in the McGuire tradition, the design often features contrasting colors and gold and silver leafing applied to the rings of the target. Tethered only by one's own imagination, the look of this chair remains at the height of couture. Circa 1979.
The famed Butterfly Chair is also born in this decade as is the Rattan Gothic Collection.
Elinor and John McGuire create yet another innovative way of working with rattan. By twisting together three small-diameter rattan poles to create one large structural member, the M-154/SL Twist Dining Chair was born, and patented by McGuire. Circa 1984.
The Gondola design is also introduced this decade, as is the innovative use of rawhide laced together to transform the seating world.
McGuire is purchased by Kohler Co. Significant line expansion occurs.
The Huxley Series™ represented a decidedly contemporary, yet classic collection of furniture designed by San Francisco architect Richard Hannum, AIA. Circa 1995.
The company commissions internationally renowned designer, Orlando Diaz-Azcuy, to create a collection of rattan and teak. These new designs reflect Diaz-Azcuy's eye for architectural elements, taste for unadorned simplicity and reverence for the highest quality materials. Circa 1996.
Exquisite table lamps befitting the company's reputation for good taste and lasting beauty are introduced. Eight extraordinary designs inspired by Chinese Han Dynasty ritual vessels were part of the first introduction by partnering with renowned designer Robert Kuo.
Additional iconic rattan chairs introduced in the 1990's include: the Prescott, Manhattan, Villandry, Trellis and Trianon Chairs.
A decade of growth and diversified materials. The Archetype (outdoor) collection is designed by renowned designer, Michael Vanderbyl, in teak and a new material for McGuire - aluminum. Inspired by mid-century modern design and Vanderbyl's lifelong interest in the sea. Circa 2000.
A limited edition furniture line is designed by artisan Robert Kuo, and is hailed as one of the most extraordinary collections in the company's history. The production, by its very nature, is limited - with each piece numbered, dated and signed by the artist. Circa 2002.
McGuire launches a collection of contemporary furnishings by one of America's preeminent designers, Barbara Barry. Glamorous lines and sumptuous curves are the hallmarks of this celebrated collection, a sophisticated combination of rattan and delicate mesh caning. Circa 2002.
The Thomas Pheasant Collection launches. Pheasant chose rattan expertly woven in a continuous length or leather woven together to surround simple, graphic frames in a continuous weave. Cast brass legs, inspired by the organic beauty of tree bark, completed the unique designs. Circa 2004. Inspired by the success of the indoor collection, The Thomas Pheasant Outdoor Collection launches in 2007.
McGuire partners with multi-disciplinary designer, Laura Kirar, in a remarkable collection of contemporary forms that marry timeless design with bold, graphic detail in a straightforward mix of rattan, wood and antique bronze. Circa 2006.
McGuire introduces The BassamFellows Collection. Dramatic and modern, the pieces were fashioned from rattan, American walnut, antique brass and leather cord. Inspired by the turn of the century arts and crafts movement, such artistic forms as the M-294 Crescent Dining Chair joined the McGuire anthology. Circa 2007.
McGuire continues dramatic category and collection growth, beginning with an innovative new Kitchen Collection, including tables, chairs and stools handcrafted from an organic range of materials including abaca, walnut, oak, water hyacinth, and its signature, rattan. McGuire also collaborates with Jacques Garcia, unveiling a series of designs that reflected his distinctive glamour and creative aesthetic. Combining organic materials with dramatic forms, the two (indoor and outdoor) collections pay homage to classic, well-recognized styles, but have a firm foothold in the modern world. Circa 2008.
Two new Outdoor Collections launch: Axial Teak, inspired by classic aeronautical forms, and Maritime Teak, influenced by the linear formal repetition of the teak decks of racing yachts and motor cruisers. Circa 2008.
McGuire introduces a Limited Edition Officer's Chair in honor of its 60th Anniversary. The 60 chairs utilize the original natural oak frames found in the company archives and are finished with a supple saddle-leather seat and back. Each are signed and numbered by founder John McGuire on a brass plate.
The McGuire Furniture Company
McGuire Furniture Company, together with Ann Sacks, Kallista and Baker Knapp & Tubbs, Inc., which includes Baker furniture, Baker Knapp & Tubbs Showrooms, and Baker Stores, comprises the Kohler Interiors Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kohler Co.
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler Co. is one of America's oldest and largest privately held companies. Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products, engines and power generation systems, cabinetry, tile and home furnishings, as well as the development and operation of award-winning hospitality and world-class golf destinations.