Eugene Schoen was one of a pioneering group of German and Austrian designers in the 1920s to bring modern design to America. Unlike his contemporaries Paul Frankl, Kem Weber and Gilbert Rohde, who concentrated on design for mass production, Schoen was one of the few designers devoted to the European tradition of custom-made pieces for specific interiors and clients. A meticulous perfectionist with every detail, Schoen was the only American modern designer of the 1920s and 1930s producing pieces comparable in quality, finesse and sophistication of his European contemporaries. Schoen’s desire to have his designs executed by the finest cabinetmakers made him exclusively a designer for the affluent. The cabinetmaker he chose to execute most of his designs was the New York firm of Schmeig, Hungate & Kotzian, who also executed several commissions for Donald Deskey. In 1929, the Philadelphia Museum of Art purchased a buffet Schoen had recently completed, calling it “the finest example of cabinetmaking that this country has produced.”
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