Donald Deskey // Industrial Designer with a Luxury Look

Donald Deskey, an innovate industrial designer was among the leading figures to introduce modern design to the United States in the late 1920s. Born in 1894, in Blue Earth Minnesota, studied architecture at the University of California Berkeley and then painting at the California School of Design, the Art Institute of Chicago and Art Students League in New York. While in Chicago and New York, Mr. Deskey began to work as a commercial artist for several advertising agencies, leading to a 20-year association with Procter & Gamble. His designs have graced many household products from the Crest toothpaste packaging (which has remained the same since its creating in the 1950s) to designs for Cheer, Prell and Jif peanut butter, shaping the look of American everyday living for years to come.

Moving in to furniture and textile design Donald Deskey won the competition to design the Radio City Music Hall in 1930. He worked on this important commission from 1931-1939. Mr. Deskey was also adept at luxurious interior design, creating interiors for such prominent clients as Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and Helena Rubinstein. He has been named one of the top 20 design influences of the 20th century by Architectural Digest.
Donald Deskey Chest of drawers

Chest of drawers, this six-drawer chest constructed of sienna micarta and walnut, with cast aluminum drawer pulls and formed legs. Mr. Deskey created this piece for the manufacturer Charak Modern in 1958.
Donald Deskey Art Deco Andiron

This pair of Art Deco Andiron, showcases Deskey’s passion for working with various metals, these examples in polished brass and painted iron, c. 1940s.

A rare American Art Deco Moderne Chest in lacquered wood and aluminum, manufactured by Valentine Seaver Furniture company c. 1930s.
Donald Deskey Art Deck Skyscraper lamp

The Art Deck Skyscraper lamp is crafted of polished aluminum with classic art deco detailing, c. 1930s.

One of Deskey’s later designs, these modernist armchairs are crafted in aluminum with wool upholstery, c. 1960s.

A statement pair of black and brass spire andirons for Bennett, crafted in iron and brass, c. 1950s.

Looking for a Classic Los Angeles home to showcase these luxurious Donald Deskey pieces? Our city is home to many architecturally significant Mid-Century ModernSpanish, Craftsman homes and Luxury Estates. Visit Beyond Shelter for more Designed Living ideas to create your LA story.