Marcel Breuer (American, born Hungary, 1902–1981)
Oak, wool upholstery
37 1/4 x 22 1/4 in. (94.5 x 56.5 cm)
Purchase, Theodore R. Gamble Jr. Gift, in honor of his mother, Mrs. Theodorre Robert Gamble, and Lita Annenberg Hazen Charitable Trust Gift, 1983 (1983.366)
Designed while he was a student at the Bauhaus, this chair is Breuer's solution to the problem of creating beautiful, comfortable, functional seating with minimal materials and at minimal expense. The structure of the chair, with its un-upholstered wood frame and ergonomically angled back and seat rests, is designed to reduce spinal pressure, while at the same time paring all structural and decorative elements to an absolute minimum. Stylistically, the outward projection of portions of the frame suggests the influence of the Dutch movement De Stijl, especially Theo van Doesburg (18831931), who visited the Bauhaus several times in the early 1920s. Produced at the Bauhaus cabinet workshop continually from 1922 to 1925, Breuer's chair proved to be an early and successful example of the school's desire to ally art and industry and to create design prototypes for mass production.