"Wassily" Armchair

Designer: Marcel Breuer (American (born Hungary) 1902–1981)

Date: 1925

Medium: Chrome-plated steel, canvas upholstery

Dimensions: 30 1/4 × 30 1/4 × 26 3/4 in. (76.8 × 76.8 × 67.9 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Purchase, Lita Annenberg Hazen Charitable Trust Gift, 1988

Accession Number: 1988.256


Marcel Breuer attended the Bauhaus from 1920 to 1924 and became head of its carpentry workshop in 1925. Also in 1925, Breuer bought his first bicycle. He was so impressed by its lightness and strength that he had decided to make furniture from tubular steel. His first experimental tubular steel piece was the club style armchair about which he said, "It is my most extreme work both in its outward appearance and in the use of materials; it is the least artistic, the most logical, the least 'cosy' and the most mechanical." It became known as the "Wassily" chair because of Kandinsky's admiration for it.