A History of Modern Chairs
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- A look at Eero Saarinen's Womb chair, an icon of midcentury modern design.
At mid-century, The Museum of Modern Art played a leading role in the definition and dissemination of ‘Good Design,’ a concept that started taking shape in the 1930s and emerged with new relevance and currency in America and Europe in the decades following World War II. What Was Good Design? MoMA’s Message 1944-56 presents over 100 selections from the Museum’s collection—ranging from domestic furnishings and appliances, to textiles, sporting goods, and graphics—to illuminate the primary values of Good Design as promoted by MoMA within an international debate conducted by museums, design councils, and department stores. Iconic pieces by designers including Marcel Breuer, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Hans Wegner are shown alongside more unexpected items such as a hunting bow and a plumb bob, as well as everyday objects including an iron, a hamper, a rake, a cheese slicer, and Tupperware.
This vaunted design was created for the 1940 MoMA exhibition “Organic Design in Home Furnishings.” The chair, which was the first to mold wood into complex curvatures and use the cycle-welding technique of bonding rubber to wood, won first prize at the show and would have been produced by Heywood-Wakefield had the war not intervened. The chair was finally mass produced by Vitra in 2006.
- Of note this week in New York was the announcement of the finalists in the Young Architects Program, the competition that challenges emerging firms to design the interior courtyard of MOMA's edgy…
- Many a modern-design enthusiast can spot a Cesca side chair and say it was designed by Marcel Breuer. But, were it upholstered in Digit fabric, few could name the textile designer.
In production for nearly thirty years, the Componibili is an iconic piece of plastic modular furniture that is counted among MoMA's permanent collection of furnishings. Available in various sizes, it is designed to be stacked or grouped together via a tongue-and-groove system, enabling a variety of configurations.
- Put down your Kindles, New Yorkers, and head straight to MoMA to buy some books. A giant half-off sale of some 1200 titles starts today.
- Eero Saarinen's fiberglass-and-aluminum Tulip table and chairs, designed in 1950s for Knoll, were among the futuristic furnishings found in the 1960s classic Star Trek series.