Modernist furniture by American designer John Vesey has become collectible in recent years. While Vesey began his career as an antiques dealer in the 40s, by 1955, he exclusively designed furniture and gradually became popular during the 60s; among the celebrity clients were Hubert de Givenchy, Andy Warhol’s muse Jane Holzer, and Bobby Kennedy. With an extensive knowledge in art history, what made Vesey’s designs great was the way the merged historical forms with cutting-edge, contemporary materials such as steel and aluminum, creating furniture that was chic, modern, and well-crafted. His best known pieces are the Maximilian series which consisted of chairs, sofas, and benched in various sizes, and his steel desk with gilt-bronze trims and leather top. His glamour career ended overnight when in 1971, Vesey was sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a young boy. A pair of his Maximilian Chairs was recently offered by Liz O’brien at the Winter Antiques Show.
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