John Danzer is president and owner of Munder-Skiles, a firm specializing in the production of new and historic designs of garden furniture and ornament. 22 years ago, Mr. Danzer abandoned his Wall Street career to concentrate full time on a lifelong affinity for garden decoration, researching here and abroad. He then began to lecture on its disappeared history, pulling images from his extensive library of reference books, catalogues, and collection of 9,000 slides, taken from gardens and settings all over the world. He has been a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, and has lectured on Garden Furniture at the Cooper-Hewitt (now the National Design Museum), The Museum of Garden History in London, Sotheby’s, the New York Botanic Garden, the Parrish Art Museum, the Winter Antique Show, and the Dallas Museum of Art. He regularly addresses decorative arts, design, and horticultural groups across the country.
In 1993, Munder-Skiles published its first brochure of 16 pieces of furniture, licensed from historic house museums or replicated from originals Mr. Danzer bought while living in Europe. Today, Munder-Skiles offers more than 135 designs of the finest quality garden furniture and objects, from dining tables to garden torches, in both metal and wood. In 1994, the firm won the 1994 Roscoe Award for the best designed American chair – the first time ever a garden seat has been so honored. The firm operates a Hudson River Highlands showroom in Garrison, New York, with a Los Angeles showroom opening in the spring of 2015. This year, Munder-Skiles will introduce a collection of wicker for both indoor and outdoor use, in a joint venture with a Spanish firm located just 20 minutes from Mr. Danzer's farm.