Riddle, Arden

(1921 - 2011)

Arden Riddle was an American designer who worked in both the Arts and Crafts tradition and the Mid-Century Modern style. He served in the US Army during World War II, after which he started the Arden Riddle Furniture Company in Copley, Ohio. He ran his company during the second half of the 20th century, producing and selling his own designs.

The US government, through the G.I. Bill, stimulated war veterans to get training in the applied arts. This policy gave an enormous boost to the revival of the Arts and Crafts movement in the post-war United States. This movement, with an emphasis on traditional craftsmanship, included names like George Nakashima and Sam Maloof. It’s not clear if Riddle was also part of the G.I. Bill program, but his work can be seen in the context of this tradition. This movement was definitely an influence on his work, but he clearly also had an interest in the developments of Modern design. The combination of both influences makes his work an interesting, yet still underrated, part of post-war Modernist design.