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Milo Baughman

Milo Baughman (1923-2003) was one of the leading Modern furniture designers of the 20th Century.  He played an essential role in the California Modern Movement of the late 40s and 50s.

Milo Baughman was born in Kansas and moved to Southern California as an infant.  At the age of 13, he designed the interior and exterior of his family’s new home.  While serving in the Army Air Forces during WWII, he designed officers clubs.  After the war, he returned to Southern California to study architectural and product design at Art Center School of Los Angeles and at Chouinard (which became the California Institute of the Arts).

After his studies, Milo Baughman worked as an interior and custom furniture designer for Frank Brothers, the first major all-modern specialty store on the West Coast.  He left Frank Brothers in 1947 to establish “Milo Baughman Design Inc.”  He did commissions for many furniture manufacturers including Glenn of California, Pacific Iron, Drexel, Winchendon, Calif-Asia, Mode Furniture, Lane, The Inco Company, James, Directional, and Thayer Coggin, among others.

Milo Baughman began designing for Thayer Coggin in 1953.  Their association continued for 50 years until his death in 2003.

Milo Baughman was also a gifted and dedicated educator.  Early in his career, he was involved with Furniture Forum with Georgia Christensen, one of the first American publications to showcase designers and include information on their designs.  He established and ultimately chaired the Department of Environmental Design at Brigham Young University.  He lectured broadly on the state of modern design at Rhode Island School of Design, the University of Tennessee, the University of Wisconsin, and North Carolina State, among other universities and art schools.

Milo Baughman’s work was included in the 1985 Whitney Museum exhibit “High Styles: Twentieth Century American Design.”  In 1987, Milo Baughman was inducted into the Furniture Designers Hall of Fame.

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