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First Woman Furniture Designer

First Woman Furniture Designer

GRHC - November 18th, 2013

After years of study and working for a local furniture designers, Margaret Page opened her own office and studio in Grand Rapids around 1912.


Margaret E. Page, the first woman in that profession in Grand Rapids, competed with some of the cleverest men who were engaged in that work in the city.

Miss Page completed her preparatory work here, starting as an apprentice with Otto Jiranek, a local freelance commercial designer. She remained in his employ eight years, mastering all the details of the business, including working drawings and blue prints. She attended Mathias Alten’s drawing classes where she made contacts with furniture designers. Mechanical drafting, rod-making, and construction work were mastered at Riccardo Iamucci’s school on Pearl St. Dissatisfied with the pace of her progress, she accepted a position with John D. Raab, designer and manufacturer, who encouraged her to start on her own.

Around 1912 she opened an office and studio and built a successful business.

Miss Page designed for factories in various parts of the country, of which several manufactured high-end period furniture. Calling on them personally kept her in touch with the various methods of construction and finishing.

While attending a course at the Chicago Art Institute, she met George Seagren, a furniture designer skilled in architectural modeling and hand carving. By 1916 Seagren had joined Page as a partner in her freelance business. They married in 1918, but three years later Seagren died from appendicitis. From then until 1932 Margaret Page Seagren tended to her design business alone.

Full Details

TitleFirst Woman Furniture Designer
KeywordsWYCE; radio; history; Historical Commission; furniture; designer; Grand Rapids
Pubdate StringNovember 18th, 2013

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