Frankart and Leone Osborne

Frankart Inc. was a New York City-based maker of mass-produced lamps, ashtrays, bookends, vases, etc. The Frankart company started production in 1922, though founder and artist Arthur von Frankenberg began creating pieces as early as 1920. Most well-known for items incorporating slim, nude women finished in green or bronze, Frankart has became synonymous with American Art Deco “femme fatale” statuary, the incorporation of the risque deco aesthetic into the utilitarian objects of modern life.

Frankart Bookends

Frankart Bookends

The story is Frankenberg's sculptural idea emerged from a studio session with model Leone Osborne. A guest required an ashtray, so Osborne grabbed a large bronze bowl to use for the ashes. Frankenberg so loved the proportions and functionality of the pose he scrapped his other work and began modeling Osborne as a miniature ashtray, the first Frankart piece. He continued to use Osborne as the model for the rest of the Frankart nudes. Though nude women were the company’s most popular designs, Frankart also produced figures of men and animals. 


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