A Cherner Chair Retrospective

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By Stephen Blake
A look at how the iconic Cherner chair design has appeared inside the pages of Dwell magazine over the years.

The original Cherner chair, designed in 1958 by Norman Cherner, was out of production for decades until 1999, when his sons, Benjamin and Thomas, at the urging of architects and designers, joined forces and formed the Cherner Chair Company to reproduce and expand on their father's iconic chair. Here is a look at how the various versions of the iconic chair has appeared over the years inside the pages of Dwell.

(I've put this story together to illustrate the power of a new feature we've just released to our editors and publishers. Now, within the Editor Tool itself, it's possible to search all of the photographs on the Dwell platform to add directly to your story. Both the original photo's caption and credit will also be imported. The caption can then be rewritten to serve the purpose of the new narrative, which is something I didn't bother with here.)

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 1 of 23 - A side chair by Norman Cherner with its back overlooking the golf course.

A side chair by Norman Cherner with its back overlooking the golf course.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 2 of 23 - A white lacquer Ligne Roset dining table is joined by a wood bench from Room & Board and bent-plywood Cherner chairs. Baconcube 4 by Cindy Wright hangs on the wall.

A white lacquer Ligne Roset dining table is joined by a wood bench from Room & Board and bent-plywood Cherner chairs. Baconcube 4 by Cindy Wright hangs on the wall.


A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 3 of 23 - Metal-framed windows stand out against the white walls in this loft. Black Cherner chairs and a white table continue the motif.

Metal-framed windows stand out against the white walls in this loft. Black Cherner chairs and a white table continue the motif.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 4 of 23 - The existing partitions were tongue-and-groove redwood. To update the interior, each panel was painstakingly removed, refinished in a darker hue, and replaced. The centerpiece, a four-strand rattan couch, is complimented by other wooden pieces, like this original Cherner chair, also a Craigslist purchase.

The existing partitions were tongue-and-groove redwood. To update the interior, each panel was painstakingly removed, refinished in a darker hue, and replaced. The centerpiece, a four-strand rattan couch, is complimented by other wooden pieces, like this original Cherner chair, also a Craigslist purchase.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 5 of 23 - The couple opted for a smaller kitchen without fussy appliances and a larger dining area. They concentrated on achieving a high-quality space through carefully chosen furnishings, including the Cross Extension table in wenge, a Cherner side chair, and the LEM Piston stools, all from Design Within Reach.

The couple opted for a smaller kitchen without fussy appliances and a larger dining area. They concentrated on achieving a high-quality space through carefully chosen furnishings, including the Cross Extension table in wenge, a Cherner side chair, and the LEM Piston stools, all from Design Within Reach.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 6 of 23 - A similar design to the Lounge Arm Chair, the Lounge Side Chair has a welcoming shape that evokes Norman Cherner’s 1958 design.

A similar design to the Lounge Arm Chair, the Lounge Side Chair has a welcoming shape that evokes Norman Cherner’s 1958 design.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 7 of 23 - #interior<span> <a href="/discover/dining">#dining</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/modern">#modern</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/modernarchitecture">#modernarchitecture</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/table">#table</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/diningroom">#diningroom</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/wood">#wood</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/diningtable">#diningtable</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/fireplace">#fireplace</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/Cherner">#Cherner</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/chair">#chair</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/Austin">#Austin</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/Texas">#Texas</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/Alterstudio">#Alterstudio</a></span>
A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 8 of 23 - Norman Cherner barstools from Design Within Reach line the island in the kitchen, which is crowned by an open loft office. The faucets are from Dornbracht; the countertops are Caesarstone. Hawkins integrated a steel-clad casual eating nook, at left.

Norman Cherner barstools from Design Within Reach line the island in the kitchen, which is crowned by an open loft office. The faucets are from Dornbracht; the countertops are Caesarstone. Hawkins integrated a steel-clad casual eating nook, at left.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 9 of 23 - A classic piece like this Eames lounge chair appears dressed down next to a hammock in the office space. Also featured are wooden office chairs by Norman Cherner.

A classic piece like this Eames lounge chair appears dressed down next to a hammock in the office space. Also featured are wooden office chairs by Norman Cherner.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 10 of 23 - Embracing the natural environs of their family home—a 1970 Deck House nestled among 175-foot-tall tulip poplar trees—residents Darren Selement and Cathryn Rich updated the kitchen with a rich material palette of wood and stone. Cherner barstools are paired with custom, cherry-stained alder cabinets by Holiday Kitchens, Barocca soapstone countertops, and flooring from Globus Cork.

Embracing the natural environs of their family home—a 1970 Deck House nestled among 175-foot-tall tulip poplar trees—residents Darren Selement and Cathryn Rich updated the kitchen with a rich material palette of wood and stone. Cherner barstools are paired with custom, cherry-stained alder cabinets by Holiday Kitchens, Barocca soapstone countertops, and flooring from Globus Cork.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 11 of 23 - The side view of the Cherner Lounge Arm Chair and Ottoman showcases the sinuous curvature of the molded plywood. This design recalls the look of the original chair designed by Norman Cherner in 1958.

The side view of the Cherner Lounge Arm Chair and Ottoman showcases the sinuous curvature of the molded plywood. This design recalls the look of the original chair designed by Norman Cherner in 1958.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 12 of 23 - A vaulted loft room complete with a typewriter and natural wood furnishings serves as the perfect hidden workspace. The chair is a vintage Cherner chair, the side table is Nanna Ditzel, and the wood lamp is a Muuto Wood model.

A vaulted loft room complete with a typewriter and natural wood furnishings serves as the perfect hidden workspace. The chair is a vintage Cherner chair, the side table is Nanna Ditzel, and the wood lamp is a Muuto Wood model.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 13 of 23 - Outfitted with shelves by EZ Shelving and a generic tool chest, the kitchen’s galvanized steel integrated counter and sink was designed by Baker and fabricated by DeFauw Design + Fabrication. A vintage pair of Norman Cherner’s Plycraft chairs and an A Chair by sustainable furniture-maker David Colwell surround a table by Pacassa Studios, which mounted a custom top on a Herman Miller Eames base. All appliances are electric, including heat-radiating panels, a combo washer-dryer unit, and an induction stove.

Outfitted with shelves by EZ Shelving and a generic tool chest, the kitchen’s galvanized steel integrated counter and sink was designed by Baker and fabricated by DeFauw Design + Fabrication. A vintage pair of Norman Cherner’s Plycraft chairs and an A Chair by sustainable furniture-maker David Colwell surround a table by Pacassa Studios, which mounted a custom top on a Herman Miller Eames base. All appliances are electric, including heat-radiating panels, a combo washer-dryer unit, and an induction stove.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 14 of 23 - From the The Cherner Chair Company comes these two equisitely-crafted pieces: the Cherner Studio Task Chair ($1049) and the Cherner Studio Desk ($1999 to $2229). In addition to a wide variety of woods, the chair comes in an armless version while the table comes in two different sizes (48 or 60 inches wide).

From the The Cherner Chair Company comes these two equisitely-crafted pieces: the Cherner Studio Task Chair ($1049) and the Cherner Studio Desk ($1999 to $2229). In addition to a wide variety of woods, the chair comes in an armless version while the table comes in two different sizes (48 or 60 inches wide).

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 15 of 23 - Krubiner (here, with girlfriend Kylie Gordon) furnished the house with finds from Craigslist and eBay, such as the 1970s Milo Baughman dining table and Norman Cherner chairs.

Krubiner (here, with girlfriend Kylie Gordon) furnished the house with finds from Craigslist and eBay, such as the 1970s Milo Baughman dining table and Norman Cherner chairs.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 16 of 23 - In one corner of the show, a bright yellow Vola faucet, designed by Arne Jacobsen and Teit Weylandt in 1969, holds court with a tribe of wooden chairs from the 1940s and 50s.

In one corner of the show, a bright yellow Vola faucet, designed by Arne Jacobsen and Teit Weylandt in 1969, holds court with a tribe of wooden chairs from the 1940s and 50s.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 17 of 23 - This dining room features the Cherner Chair alongside a dining room table designed by Benjamin Cherner.

This dining room features the Cherner Chair alongside a dining room table designed by Benjamin Cherner.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 18 of 23 - #midcenturymodern<span> <a href="/discover/kitchen">#kitchen</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/Cherner">#Cherner</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/stool">#stool</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/RonRadziner">#RonRadziner</a></span>


A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 19 of 23 - #midcenturymodern<span> <a href="/discover/interior">#interior</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/inside">#inside</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/livingroom">#livingroom</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/diningroom">#diningroom</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/Cherner">#Cherner</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/Eames">#Eames</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/Stamen">#Stamen</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/lighting">#lighting</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/Eichler">#Eichler</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/PaloAlto">#PaloAlto</a></span><span> <a href="/discover/California">#California</a></span>
A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 20 of 23 - Outfitted with shelves by EZ Shelving and a generic tool chest, the kitchen’s galvanized steel integrated counter and sink was designed by Baker and fabricated by DeFauw Design + Fabrication. A vintage pair of Norman Cherner’s Plycraft chairs and an A Chair by sustainable furniture-maker David Colwell surround a table by Pacassa Studios, which mounted a custom top on a Herman Miller Eames base. All appliances are electric, including heat-radiating panels, a combo washer-dryer unit, and an induction stove.

Outfitted with shelves by EZ Shelving and a generic tool chest, the kitchen’s galvanized steel integrated counter and sink was designed by Baker and fabricated by DeFauw Design + Fabrication. A vintage pair of Norman Cherner’s Plycraft chairs and an A Chair by sustainable furniture-maker David Colwell surround a table by Pacassa Studios, which mounted a custom top on a Herman Miller Eames base. All appliances are electric, including heat-radiating panels, a combo washer-dryer unit, and an induction stove.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 21 of 23 - Previously, the apartment featured a substantial balcony that David converted into additional living space. Cherner bar chairs pull up to the island. The dining table is surrounded by Wishbone chairs by Hans Wegner and Tom Dixon pendant lights.

Previously, the apartment featured a substantial balcony that David converted into additional living space. Cherner bar chairs pull up to the island. The dining table is surrounded by Wishbone chairs by Hans Wegner and Tom Dixon pendant lights.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 22 of 23 - The Menagerie Collection is a series of prints that depict animals and flora in a range of soft, yet vibrant colors. Although compositionally simple, each print is comprised of several parts—the graphic is screen printed on 140 lb. arches watercolor paper, after which McGinnis fills the colored print with a hand-drawn line sketch. From there, the 100 percent cotton paper is mounted and framed in an ash wood frame. Shown: Yellow Leaf, Blue Horse, Blue Fern, Red Snake, Blue Elephant.Also pictured: Cherner Lounge Arm Chair, Nelson Bubble Lamp Criss Cross Ball Pendant, and Shapes Rug.

The Menagerie Collection is a series of prints that depict animals and flora in a range of soft, yet vibrant colors. Although compositionally simple, each print is comprised of several parts—the graphic is screen printed on 140 lb. arches watercolor paper, after which McGinnis fills the colored print with a hand-drawn line sketch. From there, the 100 percent cotton paper is mounted and framed in an ash wood frame. Shown: Yellow Leaf, Blue Horse, Blue Fern, Red Snake, Blue Elephant.Also pictured: Cherner Lounge Arm Chair, Nelson Bubble Lamp Criss Cross Ball Pendant, and Shapes Rug.

A Cherner Chair Retrospective - Photo 23 of 23 - Connecticut. Benjamin Cherner reproduces the iconic designs of his father, Norman, for the Cherner Chair Company, based in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The furniture, like this lounge arm chair, sports organic shapes made in molded plywood with a natural walnut finish.

Connecticut. Benjamin Cherner reproduces the iconic designs of his father, Norman, for the Cherner Chair Company, based in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The furniture, like this lounge arm chair, sports organic shapes made in molded plywood with a natural walnut finish.