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The Valuable Versatiles

PEOPLE SEEM to change homes frequently these days, and the homes seem to be getting smaller. So furniture that, can fit odd spaces or do several jobs has become important. Some standard items, like sofa-beds and reclining chairs. have acquired up-to-date styling. And new items include coffee tables which conceal benches and trays, chests that become tables, and whole series of modular seating pieces which subdivide or join together to form any shape sofa or love seat you like.

There are only four units in Harvey Probber's new Tufto modular grouping, but look at the variety of lounges they provide.

Empire Magazine. March 12, 1972


He Can Design Love Seat Or Croon a Love Song

Harvey Probber in the Grand Rapids Herald, July 16, 1948

His Models Give the Picture: Harvey Probber, New York designer here for the July Market, has a new method of selling furniture. He is demonstrating a living room suite to Alice Songailo, Chicago department store buyer.



Meet versatile Harvey Probber, who's here for the July Furniture Market.

Only 26, Probber, a New Yorker, has established himself as a fur­niture designer and has his own market display in the Exhibitors Building, but any time he may drop furniture making to fill an engagement as a nightclub crooner.

He's been a furniture designer since he was 16, when he earned his first commission while an art student in high school, but Probber is more widely known as an entertainer.

During the war, he had a feature spot with a United States Coast Guard band that toured the country and has since appeared with many big name orchestras.


Probber, a persuasive salesman as well as designer, goes in for American modern, claiming there's a bigger demand for it now than for period furniture. His show­room here is lavishly furnished with his own conception of modern and he uses modern art, borrowed from New York gal­leries, to set off his furniture dis­play. One painting on his walls is by Bascioni, who recently won a nation-wide modern art contest.

Probber says there's a close connection between modern painting and modern furniture design and will point out the similarity of ideas in the furniture he sells.

His latest interest is foam rubber for upholstery. A number of pieces in his showroom use it.

Attendance at the July Furniture Market hit 2,650 Thursday. The Market has two more days to run.

Grand Rapids Herald - July 16, 1948

Cubo modular seating

"Cubo Clusters"

From the Market section of Interiors Magazine, December 1972

Harvey Probber Cubo modular seating c.1972

Change is our way of life. Why shouldn't our furniture reflect it? Why should it string us up with static shapes? Harvey Probber offers an answer.

His "Cubo" seating system is made of modules that move into any appropriate arrangement to suit the style or space. The modules, each alone adequate for sitting, are simple geometric shapes – 32" squares and quadrants. Each may be specified with arms (high or low) and backs. Modular tables, at either seat or back heights, add another dimension of flexibility.

Harvey Probber Cubo modular seating c.1972
Harvey Probber: "Cubo"-imagine the possibilities!

Tables are either round-edged in polyurethane enamel or square-edged in plastic laminate. Four of the seven sizes available are offered with surfaces of satin brass, bronze or chrome steel. The looks of the seats themselves can change with the weather, or with whatever. The upholstery is engineered to zip on or off sans struggle. Probber will provide a second set of slipcovers on order.

Harvey Probber Cubo modular seating c.1972

"Cubo" has a high comfort quotient. Construction consists of steel reinforced urethane foam wrapped in a coat of puffy Dacron. Maintenance is minimal. The deeply recessed ebony enameled steel legs avoid scuffing and give the lounge a floating feeling. Ebonized wood bases are also available. A tufted version of the system is also offered.- c.c.c. 

Harvey Probber Cubo modular seating c.1972
Harvey Probber: "Cubo"-one of an endless variety of groupings

Photos courtesy Harvey Probber Design Archive


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