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In Memory of Vladimir Kagan


To all of our dear readers, it is with heavy hearts that we share with you the news of Vladimir Kagan’s passing on April 7th, 2016. He passed away in the early morning hours of the 7th after suffering a heart attack in Palm Beach, Florida. Mr. Kagan was known to be a loving father, mentor, and friend to all as well as visionary 20th century designer. His ideas changed how mid-century furniture was perceived and conceived. Mr. Kagan was inducted into the Interior Designer Hall of Fame in 2009, 62 years after he began designing and producing furniture.


Born in Worms, Germany in 1927, Vladimir Kagan came to the United States in 1938 shortly before the outbreak of World War II. He had an early focus on painting and sculpture, but over the years became attracted to architecture and design. He studied architecture at Columbia University and joined his father Illi in his woodworking shop in 1947.

His early commissions included the Delegate’s Cocktail Lounges for the first United Nations Headquarters in Lake Success N.Y. (1947-48). He opened his first shop in New York in 1948 and moved to the fashionable 57th Street in 1950. Throughout his life, his clients have been luminaries in the worlds of art, theater, music, and industry, including Marilyn Monroe, Gary Cooper, Walt Disney, General Motors, General Electric, and Fairchild Aircraft.

Mr. Kagan has served as chairman of the advisory committee of the High School of Art and Design in New York, a member of numerous committees for the Architectural League of New York, and a faculty member of Parsons New School for Design. He received an honorary doctorate of Art and Design from Kendall College of Art and Design as well as the New York School of Interior Design in 2009.

Museums and connoisseurs still collect his designs to this day. Many private collections across the globe proudly display his furniture, and his prize-winning designs have been published in international books and magazines. Some of his designs are featured in the permanent collections of the V&A London, the Vitra Design Museum, and the Die Neue Samlung in Germany, as well as museums across the United States.

Mr. Vladimir Kagan’s celebration of life and work will be held on Tuesday, April 26th from 4-5 at the University Club (1 West 54th Street). Please consider a gift to the Nantucket Conservation Foundation which protects the land and beauty of the island Vladimir loved so much:

Nantucket Conservation Foundation
PO Box 13
Nantucket, MA


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