Collection profile

Ralph Rapson was part of an exhilarating era in American Modernist architecture and design. He began his formal architectural training in the early 1930s at the University of Michigan and then attended the Cranbrook Academy of Art, led by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. At age thirty-one he participated in Arts and Architecture magazine’s Case Study program for postwar housing. Rapson’s “Greenbelt House” entry drew wide and favorable critical attention. With his renowned drawing skills he produced hundreds of furniture designs including his own successful line for K G. Knoll Associates in the 1940s. Loll was introduced to Rapson’s work after meeting his son Toby, also an architect, at a trade show in Minneapolis. We collaborated with Toby over the next several years to bring Ralph’s modernist furniture drawings to life, many for the first time, in recycled plastic.