Monday, November 15, 2010

The Pace Collection

I first encountered furniture from The Pace Collection in 1977 at a party in the home of the vice president for my region, a boss who was many levels higher than I whom I didn't know well. I found him and his wife to be rather pompous, but I swooned over their art and furniture. I couldn't afford the furniture even with my "highly paid computer professional" salary, but by the second exposure, I had familiarized myself (through design publications) with quite a few of the sensational Mid-Century Modern pieces offered by The Pace Collection and designed by Leon Rosen, James Rosen, Adam Tihany, and other notables.

In 2002, when we moved to Hawaii, my husband and I became friends with a neighbor who had a marvelous collection, which I recognized and admired. Recently, as he is downsizing, I've been able to acquire his furniture. Although I would like to use it all, I love too many of my own things, so I will need to sell some pieces, probably including the Adam Tihany designed Isadora dining set, and the La Danse cabinet by Leon Rosen. Because I secretly want to use it all, I have not finalized what I'm keeping (other than the two Normandy swivel chairs, echo end table, 4 drawer wall-mounted shelf, desk by Leon Rosen for Pace, and probably the beautiful Venezia chair).

note: the text below is my edited compilation of information that is easily found on many sites across the world wide web.

The Pace Collection was a high-end contemporary furniture company in business from the 1970s to 2001. The company was founded in the early 1970s by Irving and Leon Rosen in New York City. The first showroom was located in mid-Manhattan on East 62nd Street to offer its fine furniture and services to the contract interior design trade.

The Pace Collection line of desks, tables and cabinets was distinguished by the unique Rosen style employing rich, exotic wood veneers having high-gloss finishes with polished and chrome plated trim. The Rosens patented many of their designs.

The Pace Collection also offered its own line of chairs, sofas, shelves and accessories. In 1985, the Rosens commissioned New York architect Steven Holl to design a new showroom. This showroom, which opened in 1986, was located on the corner of Madison Avenue and East 72nd Street. Holl received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) award for best architectural design in New York in 1986 for the new Pace Collection showroom.

The Pace Collection's desks, tables, cabinets and other case goods were hand-made by Glendale Furniture, Inc. in Glendale, New York. The finished pieces were then shipped to The Pace Collection warehouse in Long Island City. Other limited edition pieces were designed and hand-made in Italy. When the furniture pieces were ordered by the interior designers or architects, they were shipped from the warehouse to the location specified by the client. All pieces were essentially custom made to order and therefore not mass produced. Production figures of the furniture were known only to the Rosens, but the prices reflected the hand craftsmanship and the very limited production. The furniture in The Pace Collection appealed to a very elite clientele.

Personal Notes
Information I've compiled, that is not included with the commonly found history above:

One Pace Collection designer, James Rosen, is based in the Los Angeles area.

Some Pace Collection designs have been licensed by Glendale Furniture, and are offered on their website:
note: in March 2017, I find that this link is not working. I searched the Internet Archives to find earlier versions of Glendale's website.

The weirdest thing, though, is after I acquired my items from The Pace Collection, I discovered that my friend Andrew grew up in the neighborhood, and as a friend, with the Rosen family! That's how I found James; he's Andrew's friend on Facebook.

Here's my La Danse three door cabinet. It has a remote control bar that emerges from the top:


  1. Very interesting. I have a Koa Wood Desk and hanging credenza in my office, purchased by a former partner of mine in the early 1980's. It has a very art deco feel with lots of polished chrome.

  2. I listed some Pace furniture on Ebay here:

  3. Buy and sell new and used modern, outdoor, office, bedroom and home furniture.
    Choose from a great selection of gently used furniture for every room in your home.
    More here

  4. Hi,
    Great to find your blog!
    I'm wondering if any of you can tell me if these pieces are Pace Collection?
    I bought them from a home staging company and have no info on them. There are no makers marks. The burl wood and the inside of the drawers look like other Pace pieces to me but I can't find an exact match anywhere on the web. Thanks in advance!