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Unseen Examples

Chairs (and art) under our noses

Folding Table presents examples of “The Unseen”
Chairs (and art) under our noses

On the lighter side of things, I saw an exhibit on furniture art from the early to mid 1900s a few years back. If I recall correctly, it was in a smaller gallery room at the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, but coincidentally, I can’t find any information about the display on the museum’s website.

What I remember best was the conceptual office furniture art. It wasn’t mind-blowing or out there. Instead, my first impressions after scanning the room were that the furniture looked passé, mundane, or commonplace. Only when I read the art tags did I realize why.

Art Deco and Bauhaus furniture art of the 1920s and 30s, which at one point was in vogue, has been so successful as design concepts that we continue to see the style today. What might have been high art is now a shared experience of the seemingly ordinary.

The tubular chrome and aluminum material, which is a sturdy and cheap material persists today. The cantilevered seat (in which there are no back legs and the seat seems to hang in the air) is still around!

These styles influence functional and modern furniture later on…Art and historical tradition are right under our noses. These should look familiar:

cantilevered Art Deco tubular chrome office chair

Mart Stam chair

Are they recent or antique?




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