Dario Zoureff – Melbourne’s Iconic modernist furniture designer and maker
Dario Zoureff was born in Hungary. He emigrated to Australia in 1939.
Zoureff took a holistic approach when fitting out clients’ homes in the 50’s to 70’s, many of his clients themselves were Jewish immigrants. His custom built designs make his work highly desirable among aficionado of vintage furniture from the mid-century or the post war era.
Many clients who commissioned pieces by Zoureff sold their furniture when they sold their homes as majority of these cabinets and screens were in-built structures they were adapted to become free standing furniture. This uniqueness is perhaps the reason his work is among the most celebrated works of vintage furniture designs of a Melbourne based creator.
The fine timber he used were often silver ash wood, sycamore, black bean, Queensland walnut and later American Oak.
According to Dario Designs needed to be functional and each piece treated as though it was a sculpture. His Designs were simple, although they included considerable detail.
I have bought and sold Zoureff designs from the Brighton, Toorak, Caulfied, East St Kilda for the last three decades. These homes were owned by Jewish immigrants who came to Australia after the second world war.
At the time they were keen to build new homes and furnish them with modernist furniture, they embraced modern architecture and new ideas and tended to follow the European tradition of using local designers to custom make their furniture. The work of designers such as Zoureff and Rosando Zoureff himself an Emigre from Europe highly collectable by those in the design know, because these pieces were custom built, they have passed the test of time.
You might also like this Sydney morning herald article about the designer and others from his era.