Gerald Summers

George Summers established his reputation in Britain post-war years with simple, practical and versatile furniture made in pale wood to reflect the sunlight. Within ten years he had developed more than one hundred designs, completed many private commissions and had worked with architect Oliver Falvey Hill to furnish the Modernist Show House at the Frinton Park Estate in Frinton-on-Sea and with Jack Pritchard, founder of Isokon. His furniture was represented by the major retailers of modern furniture in the United Kingdom and the United States and his work placed Britain at the forefront of modern design in the 1930s. Summers made his first design in plywood for the flat of his to-become-wife Marjorie Amy Butcher in 1926. He challenged himself to create simple minimal shapes, considering first the function, then the material, and finally the form, the golden-three rule he believed led to rightness of design. Three of Summers’s iconic designs were produced in the first years, including the Bent Plywood Armchair (BPAC) and the High Back Chair (HBC), represented here. Summers was known to prefer making furniture to order in his workshop. He is represented at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.