Despite a consummate career spanning five decades, designer Ward Bennett (1917–2013) remains relatively unknown outside a small circle of design cognoscenti. How did a man who counted the Agnellis, the Wenners, and the Rockefellers among his clients stay under the radar for so long? Although he had no formal design education, Bennett easily mastered the clarity of Modernism, but he added a vaudevillian flair by mixing it with luxurious materials and subtle nods to 18th-century French furniture, Classical architecture, and Zen Buddhism. At PIN–UP, we fell head over heels for Bennett’s unique, deceptively simple design ethos a few years ago when photographing a small yet ingenious Fifth Avenue apartment, for which he custom-designed every detail, including the furniture. His work combined restraint with boldness, toughness with elegance, and severity with comfort. This year, on the occasion of what would have been his 100th birthday, we’re celebrating Bennett’s multifaceted oeuvre with this booklet, presenting many of his pieces that are still in production, and which we love. He may have been the design world’s best-kept secret, but the word on Ward is finally out.
Creative Direction by Felix Burrichter, Film Stills by Alex Gvojic, Art Direction by Ben Ganz, Concept by Michael Bullock and Felix Burrichter
Special thank you to Elizabeth Beer, Michael Donovan, Sam Grawe, Nancye Green, Brian Janusiak, Jenelle Kelsch, and Ben Watson