Robert Hanley / LAMA Design

I'm going to do some posts on some of my favorite lots from the upcoming LAMA Design auction, starting with Lot 197, Robert Hanley Floor vase for Modern Color Inc.

In the early 1950s Robert Hanley designed furniture and accessories for Modern Color Inc. The company, owned by Dorothy Schindele, had a number of well known designers on their roster. Paul Tuttle, Eugene Weston, Craig Ellwood and Schindlele herself designed for the company. Hanley’s contributions included an iron chair with brass tipped legs and this iron floor vase utilizing a Pyrex glass vessel. 

Julius Shulman did the photography for the Modern Color ad. Here is one of the images from his contact sheet.

Photo: Julius Shulman via © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

The vase was featured in the Pacifica promotional campaign.  It's seen here with a Paul Tuttle chair in the foreground and Dorothy Schindele pieces in the background.

Hanley also designed this chair for Modern Color Inc.

Robert Hanley, a member of the Southern California District of the American Institute of Decorators was based in Los Angeles. After serving in the Army and working with Raymond Loewy, he teamed up with architect-trained designer Joseph-Copp. Their firm Hanley-Copp designed interiors in the Los Angeles area. 

Just a year later, Hanley opened an office on his own at 8649 Sunset Boulevard. His Sunset Plaza office also served as a retail outlet for pieces imported from Europe and Asia. 

Hanley worked on residential and commercial projects with architects, such as John Lindsay, Smith & Williams and landscape architect Garret Eckbo. For the 1952 George Hepburn house in Bel Air Hanley selected pieces by Dan Johnson. He also designed the interiors for The Apple Valley Inn, New Scandia Restaurant, and even a private railroad car for writer Lucius Beebe.

He was president of the Southern California chapter of the American Institute of Decorators in  the mid 1950s. During this time he also wrote a decorating column for the LA Times. In 1958 he was hired as a furniture design consultant for Warner Bros.