Irving Harper is something of an unsung hero in the world of modern design furniture.  The American industrial designer is perhaps slightly lesser known than instantly recognizable names like Eames yet Harper is responsible for many iconic contributions, including designing the Herman Miller company logo as well as being the brains behind the classic, innovative Marshmallow Sofa.

Born in New York in 1916, Irving Harper showed early promise during his time working as a draftsman for the Gilbert Rohde's office during the 1930s.  Some of the work he did would go on to be featured at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

After meeting fellow designer George Nelson in the 1940s, Harper would join his company George Nelson Associates in 1947, working as an interior designer.  That same year he designed the Herman Miller logo despite having no training as a graphic artist.  Harper spent seventeen years with George Nelson Associates, designing the Marshmallow Sofa and a series of clocks until he left in 1963 and began his own design company with Phillip George called Harper+George.  The company would go on to do work for major names like Hallmark Cards and the now defunct Braniff International Airways.

Irving Harper’s work maintains strong appeal to this day.  His various paper sculptures were sold for over $1.1M at an auction in Chicago last month, including an ‘Owl’ piece that fetched over $48,000 despite being projected to sell for $7,000 to $9,000.

CA Modern Home offers an extensive selection of modern home furniture by respected brands and designers like Irving Harper and we have various pieces available for sale, including the Marshmallow Sofa.  Call us at 1-800-605-1859 for any sales inquiries or more information.

Benjie Makinano
Benjie Makinano


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