The Modern Chair

Our home-base museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, opened a new exhibit yesterday called “The Modern Chair”. It is the first in a series of exhibitions that will lead up to the opening of the museum’s first permanent collection of 20th-21st century architecture and design. The exhibit features furniture starting in the Machine Age, highlighting a move from carpenters to industrial designers in the furniture industry.


Rudolph Schindler. Wilshire Medical Office Side Chair, about 1943

During this time, the chair became more than a utilitarian object. Architects and Designers began seeing the chair as an opportunity for engineering. It became a means for material exploration and the study of the human body. Tubular steel, plywood, and fiberglass began to have a role in furniture.  “The Modern Chair” features famed chairs from Charles and Ray Eames, Charlotte Perriand, Harry Bertoia, and Le Corbusier, all of whom contributed to a new, modern, ideal. (via).

le corbusierLe Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris), Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand
Chaise Lounge, designed 1928, manufactured about 1933


Here at Maxine Snider, we can see this influence in our own furniture. Our City Bench and Bauhaus Sofa combine steel and upholstery with crisp lines and a clean aesthetic reflective of the era.


citybench_mainMaxine Snider, City Benchbauhaussofa_mainMaxine Snider, Bauhaus Sofa

It is exciting to see the AIC’s renewed interest in the history of design and it’s influences, and we look forward to seeing more work by those that inspire us.


All images via The Art Institute of Chicago and Maxine Snider Inc.

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