Florence Knoll after having received the Medal of Art
Florence Knoll at the Knoll Planning Office, New York 1946
Florence Knoll / armchair 1205S1
Knoll San Francisco Showroom (Florence Knoll, 1954)

Florence Knoll Bassett Honored at the White House

Knoll Inc. congratulates Florence Knoll Bassett upon receiving the 2002 Medal of Arts for her contributions to 20th century modern design. She was accorded this prestigious honor in an Oval Office ceremony at the White House on March 6, 2003.


Florence Knoll Bassett was at once a champion of world-class architects and designers and an exceptional designer in her own right. Her groundbreaking creations became the gold standard of modern classics, although she modestly referred to them as “the fill-pieces that no one else wants to do.”

Her vision, pioneering spirit and her commitment to creating furnishing solutions that met the client’s needs brought Knoll to the forefront of modern design, thus creating the legacy that continues today.

”Florence Knoll Bassett imbued Knoll with an uncanny blend of intellect, intuition and objective perfectionism,” notes president and CEO, Knoll North America, Kass Bradley. ”She continues to inspire us to sustain the innovation, service and design vision that define the Knoll experience.”

The National Medal of Arts is the highest award given to artists and art patrons by the United States government. It is awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who, in his judgement, ”... are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.”

During the past 18 years, more than 200 extraordinary patrons and artists in the field of visual, performing and literary arts have been honored, and in that time period, three Knoll architects and designers have received the award: Isamu Noguchi (1987), Robert Venturi (1992) and Frank Gehry (1998).