Todd Merrill, a preeminent dealer in 20th and 21st century studio furniture and art, has chosen a selection of Karl Springer’s most iconic designs to be reissued exclusively at his gallery, Todd Merrill Studio, in partnership with Mark Eckman, President of Karl Springer Ltd
As the vintage market for Springer has begun to exceed the original prices, Merrill has selected original designs that stand the test of time and that continue to engage with the contemporary market. In 2016, Eckman, an admirer of Merrill’s intuition and experience in the vintage and custom-design marketplace, approached the gallery in order to give exclusive rights to reissue Merrill’s hand-picked collection of Springer’s timeless classics.
“I wanted iconic Karl Springer – designs that are signature to the artist that epitomize glamorous look that Springer created,” says Todd Merrill.
Today, Karl Springer Ltd. Upholds the tradition stared by its namesake founder in the early 1970s to create bench made pieces with authentic materials, superb craftsmanship, and extreme attention to detail. The entire collection is American made by some of the same artisans who originally worked with Springer himself. “The quality of the reissued work is equal or superior to the original pieces as technique and technology have advanced” noted Eckman.
Eckman first met Springer in the mid 1970s when he was an in-house designer for a Lucite fabricating company in northern Manhattan. At the time, Springer was seeking a Lucite source for his lamps, boxes and mounted objects –details that would come to define many of his unique designs.
When Karl Springer Ltd. Relocated to a small atelier on east 61st Street, Eckman and Springer collaborated on occasional tables to add to its growing line. This partnership continued as the business grew and their joint projects became more complex. In 1987, Springer hired Eckman as his assistant. They worked together until Springer’s death from AIDS in 1991 and Eckman left the company the following year. In 1994, Eckman acquired the rights to Karl Springer Ltd, including intellectual property, design, logo and trademarks. In 2001, Eckman licensed Matthews & Parker Ltd to produce some basic Springer designs, which came to be represented by a few D&D-based companies. Over the years, Eckman has been a vital source to provide authentication, appraisal and repair services for original Springer pieces. Today, the reissues are available through Todd Merrill Studio exclusively on a commission basis, with custom dimensionality, materials, and finishes. Iconic designs such as the Free Form Low Tables, Mushroom Lamps, and Sculpture Bench are some of the first designs to be released in this unique, highly anticipated partnership.
About Karl Springer: Though born in pre-war Germany and working off European classical forms, Springer developed an irreverent and non-doctrinaire idiom of bold proportions, highly exotic finishes, and a sometime flashy palette that identified him strongly with his American clientele. His work speaks with the confidence and energy of the highest-end productions associated with the Disco Decade, and now find new relevance in the contemporary design world.