Harvey Probber is one of the post-war American creative spirits whose work has been recently rediscovered by collectors. His designs are by-and-large simple and elegant, but his signal achievement was to pioneer one of the key innovations of mid-20th century furniture: sectional, or modular, seating.
Even as a teenager, the Brooklyn-born Probber was making sketches of furniture designs and selling them to Manhattan furniture companies. He began working as a designer for an upholsterer once he finished high school and, apart from a few evening classes he took as an adult at the Pratt Institute, he was self-taught about design and furniture making. After wartime service and a stint as a lounge singer Probber founded his own company in the late 1940s. Modular furniture remained the core idea of Probber’s business throughout his career.
Probber preferred simple lines for their inherent practicality, but often used hardware to enliven the look of his pieces, or added elements such as a ceramic insert in the center of a round dining table that was visually interesting and could serve as a trivet. He gravitated toward bright fabrics with attractive, touchable textures that might be satin-like or nubbly.
His furniture is considered highly collectible today.
Harvey Probber "Cubo" Sectional Sofa
Sideboard Signed Harvey Probber
Harvey Probber Sofa Upholstered in Jack Lenor Larsen Fabric
Harvey Probber Dining Table