Josef Frank’s mid-century textiles and furniture designs always surprise me. The Austrian-born Swedish architect, known as the father of Swedish Modern, combined nature-inspired motifs with simple, sculptural forms in an unexpected and wholly delightful way. His work projects a sense of joy without veering into whimsy—a balancing act that appeals to my own sensibilities.
I had a chance to experience some of Frank’s creations in person last weekend at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C. The Embassy’s small but enjoyable exhibition, The Enduring Designs of Josef Frank, contains several large Frank textiles and many furniture and tabletop pieces. Frank designed them all for the Swedish companies Haus & Garten and Svenskt Tenn (the latter is the show’s sponsor).