Designers and Master Builders of Fine Furniture
The History of Erickson Interiors
John Erickson immigrated to the United States when he was sixteen years old. At that young age he was already an accomplished wood carver. He began work at The Wm. French Furniture Company five days after he and his mother, father, and sister arrived in Minneapolis in 1925. The family had traveled by steamship from Sweden to New York, and then immediately boarded a train to Minnesota where relatives lived.
The Erickson family established residence in NE Minneapolis, an area with heavy involvement in the furniture industry. John's father, Conrad, a cabinet maker, also soon gained employment at French's, a furniture company started by William French, who was a well known interior designer of the era, with an established reputation throughout the country for fine interior design and furniture craftsmanship.
During The Great Depression of the 1930s, the furniture industry suffered severely. Facing a lack of work, John and Conrad, along with another colleague, formed Erickson Interiors. Initially struggling for business, they promoted themselves by building a magnificent roll-top desk, a masterpiece now arguably one of the finest examples of furniture ever built. The desk dramatically displayed the capabilities available at the new shop, and served well in building the business.
Over a period of 60 years, Erickson Interiors became widely known for outstanding quality, with a reputation of building fine furniture and for providing traditionally focused interior design.
In the mid 1990s, John Erickson, in his eighties, suffered a debilitating injury from a fall, and was forced to end his work career. In 1996, Erickson Interiors closed its flagship store on Nicollet Ave in Minneapolis, where all of Erickson furniture was made.
Remaining today is a collection of pieces built at that shop, preserved by John's son Dick, and here offered for sale. The original Erickson piece, that magnificent roll-top desk, which had remained a fixture at the store for almost sixty years, was donated to The American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, where it currently offers testimony to the legacy of Swedish immigrant craftsmanship.