Rock Star of Modern Architecture

Considered by some to be Minnesota’s most important architect/planner/designer/artist of the 20th Century, Ralph Rapson (1914-2008) revolutionized design and humanized modern architecture. Probably best known for designing Minneapolis’ original Guthrie Theater, Rapson  crafted the shape for Cedar Square West (now Riverside Plaza) and the Pillsbury House.

Rapson also applied his Modernist convictions to a wide array of domestic items, including flatware, teapots, lamps, dishes, jewelry, fabrics, and especially furniture. Not surprisingly, some of his most intriguing furniture pieces take the form of chairs. Rapson is credited with designing the “Rapson Rapid Rocker,” which was first built for the Museum of Modern Art in 1939, and then picked up by Knoll, who sold it as part of their “Rapson Line” in 1948.

Since Rapson’s death in 2008, the “Rapson Rocker” has been re-created and will be re-introduced as the “Ralph Rapson Solid Wood Rapid Rocker” at The Furniture Design of Ralph Rapson Two Day Exhibit and Sale this upcoming Friday, December 3rd from 5 to 11 p.m. (opening reception) and Saturday, December 4th from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Two Day Exhibit and Sale will also feature a newly refurbished “Knoll Rapson Rocker” (circa 1946), and Rapson admirers will  have the opportunity to take home two-hand built rockers signed by the artist himself.

A percentage of the event sales will be donated to the Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Fellowship at the Minnesota Architectural Foundation.


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