1920, Hanford, California 1982, San Francisco, Bay Area
In his illustrious yet short-lived career, San Francisco-based designer and decorator John Dickinson rarely felt limited by the purely functional aspects of design. Instead, he helped to create a world where inanimate objects such as tables, chairs, and lamps assumed a fanciful, anthropomorphic quality that eventually became his trademark.
After briefly attending Parsons School of Design, Dickinson worked for several display departments, furniture stores, and decorating firms in New York and California. He founded his own practice in San Francisco in 1956.
In 1977 Philip Schlein, then president and CEO of Macy's California, commissioned Dickinson to design his first full-scale furniture collection. Described by the New York Times as "deluxe and rarefied," the collection includes white lacquered bookcases that emulate skyscrapers, Roman-column nightstands that swivel to reveal shelving, and tables and lamps propped up by bone-like supports.
Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm it will be on view.
Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at email@example.com to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.