Paul Ernst Kafka (1907 – 1972) was one of the most significant furniture designers and makers of the post WW II period in Sydney. Born and trained in Austria at the Vienna University of Applied Arts Kafka and his wife emigrated to Australia in 1939. By the late 1940s Paul Kafka Exclusive Furniture Pty Ltd employed over 20 tradesmen producing bespoke and custom designed and built furniture for mainly Eastern suburbs clients. In the 1960s he undertook a number of major fitout projects for the Sheraton, Chevron and Travelodge Hotels. His signature is complex inlaid wood marquetry frequently in modernist and Art Deco influenced geometric patterns. Many of his most notable designs were created working in tandem with leading Australian postwar architects including Harry Seidler (with whom he shared Viennese origins), Hugo Stossel, Hugh Buhrich and Harry Epstein. It is Kafka's built in and free standing furniture that is a feature of in what is recognised as Australia's foundation modernist home the 'Rose Seidler' house in northern Sydney. Examples of Kafka furniture and design drawings are held in the collection of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
Paul Kafka (1907-1972), burr wood veneer storage cabinet, c. 1950 manufactured by modern Exclusive furniture, having a fall front bar with mirrored interior, surrounded by cupboards and cabinets, retains decal label 'Modern Exclusive Furniture, P.E. Kafka,
Paul Kafka (1907- 1972), a coffee table manufactured by Paul Kafka Exclusive Furniture Pty Ltd, Sydney marble, blackwood notes: Paul Kafka is one of the most significant furniture makers working in Sydney in the immediate post war period. Born in Vienna, K
Paul Kafka, an impressive mid-century marquetry sideboard in pear wood and fiddle back maple. The sliding cupboard doors inlaid with a design of swimming fish flanked by four drawer raised on a sculptured stretcher base on tapering legs. Length 273 cm
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