Return to search

Furnishing an identity: Philip Weiss, an émigré’s contribution to Modernist furniture design in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1950-1975

This thesis focuses on the career of Philip Weiss in the furniture industry in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, from 1950-1975, as the exemplar of a larger paradigm of émigré or
foreigner culture, with a strong affinity to alienation, intellectualism, and Modernism.
The thesis contends that the Jewish émigré was attracted to Modernist principles
because of its abstract structure, rejection of tradition, and avant-garde framework.
Jewish individuals became prominent in the arts associated with Modernism, such as
design, architecture, photography, and painting. Modernism enabled artists to express
themselves without adopting conventional subjects, forms, attitudes, and techniques, and
made it well-suited for the émigrés’ position in the twentieth century. Modernism, with
its attachment to intellectualism and exploration of new technologies and materials, was a
natural fit for Weiss.
Weiss arrived in Canada as a Holocaust survivor and immigrant, and began to
reshape the narrative of his life through the furnishing of his identity. He became a
furniture designer and manufacturer, and acquired status and respect in his community.
Modernism played a significant role in his personal and business life, and initiated a
lifelong connection with its tenets of progress, innovation, and creativity.
Date09 September 2011
CreatorsWinograd, Francis R.
ContributorsChalmers, Lynn (Interior Design), Close, Susan (Interior Design) Botar, Oliver (School of Art)
Source SetsLibrary and Archives Canada ETDs Repository / Centre d'archives des thèses électroniques de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Detected LanguageEnglish

Page generated in 0.0018 seconds