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Designed by Franklin S. Bennett

19 October 2009 5 Comments

PA161048Last week I saw this lamp at a thrift shop and immediately thought, wow, that’s kinda odd. Rarely do I see metal shades on lamps let alone shades or other random objects in this vivid golden yellow. It looked like something Peggy’s mom from “Madmen” might have in her house in Queens (okay, a friend of mine from Rego park in Queens corrected me and told me Peggy’s mother actually lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn). I doubt Don would have it his house, it seems too earthy or rustic (perhaps his daughter’s teacher would have it in her garage apt.?) and sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s tacky in a  particular period– a very interesting concept in itself I find fascinating. This lamp strikes me as rustic cabin meets colonial maiden. I remember once reading somewhere that Victorian home decor and architecture–the garish colors and whimsical styles were of course inspired by Queen Victoria’s taste–meaning; she had little.

Somehow the lamp reminded me of this–sort of cheap and clunky in one era, and strange and coy in another. It seemed from the ’40s but I couldn’t be sure.  The bottom of the lamp read, “Designed by Franklin S. Bennett in California” I googled Franklin to little avail–yes he was a painter and I found out he did a stint in California in the late 30s, early ’40s but I couldn’t find any home decor he may have designed. So anyone out there that may know? Please send any info, I’d love to know, it’s a great lamp! And most likely I’ll sell it or perhaps it belongs beneath a set of deer antlers as it lights a game of Rummy.

“Landscape painter, sculptor, and etcher, he was born George Franklin Bennett Jr. in Greenport, Long Island, New York on January 5, 1908.  Bennett traveled to California and was a resident of Oakland in the late 1930s, where he lived and worked for several years.  Later, he returned to his hometown, and maintained a studio called Driftwood Manor (1939).  After World War II, he once again returned to Long Island…”

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