Milo Baughman

USA, 1923-2003


Milo Baughman U.S.A. One of the leading modern furniture designers of the twentieth century, he created a new visual vocabulary known as California Modern.  This revolutionary new look was defined by classic midcentury modern materials – chrome, stainless steel, glass and leather. His definition of Modern design was “honest, simple and straightforward.” 

Born in Kansas in 1923, Baughman was raised in Long Beach, California. At 13, he designed his family home. He spent four years in the military during World War II, designing officers' clubs. After the war, he entered the California Institute of the Arts, majoring in Product and Architectural Design.

In 1947, at the age of 24, he launched Milo Baughman Design, Inc. designing for Glenn of California, Pacific Iron, Design Institute America George Kovacs, Directional, Henredon, and Drexel.

The defining collaboration of his career, however, began in 1953, when he started working with Thayer Coggin, the North Carolina manufacturer that still produces Milo Baughman furniture today. This partnership lasted five decades and produced enduring classics like the cantilevered 989-103 Chair and the semi-circular 825-301 LAF Sofa. 

In 1965, Baughman converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and remained a passionate devotee to Mormonism until his death. He established the Department of Environmental Design at Brigham Young University in 1969 and gave lectures about design at numerous institutions. He maintained his professional design studio right up until his death at age 80.

Baughman’s modernist foundation defined his career. His designs were included in High Styles: Twentieth Century American Design exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1985.

Milo Baughman Designs