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Chair, between 1904 and 1906

  • Gebrüder Thonet
  • Otto Wagner, Austrian, 1841-1918

Beechwood, plywood, aluminum

  • Overall: 30 1/2 × 22 × 18 1/2 inches (77.5 × 55.9 × 47 cm)

Founders Society Purchase, Dr. and Mrs. George Kamperman Fund and Honorarium and Memorial Gifts Fund

1985.3

On View

  • Modern N2AA

Department

European Modern Art to 1950

Wagner was the architect of the Österreichische Postsparkasse (Imperial Austrian Postal Savings Bank) constructed in Vienna from 1904 to 1906. Co-founder of the Wiener Werkstätte and one of the earliest proponents of functionalist design in the twentieth century, he designed this armchair for the bank’s board room from two materials that had never been used in this upper-class environment before: bentwood and aluminum. Wagner used aluminum for both decorative and protective purposes, just as eighteenth-century cabinetmakers had used gilt bronze.

Vienna Postal Savings Bank [Österreichische Postsparkasse] (Vienna, Austria)

(Gunther Stefan Asenbaum, Vienna, Austria)

(Donald Morris Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, USA)

1985-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Mang, K. "Geschichte des modernen Mobels." Stuttgart, 1978, p. 46 and 83 (ill.). Taragin, D. "From Vienna to the Studio Craft Movement." Apollo 124, no. 298 (December 1986): pp. 79-80 (ill.). Bulletin of the DIA 62, no. 2 (1985): p. 9 (fig. 7). "Moderne Vergangenheit, Vienna 1800-1900." Catalogue. 1981, p. 265 (ill.) p. 206. Holz, Gebogenes. "Konstruktive Entwurfe, Vienna 1840-1910." Exh. cat., Museum Villa Stuck. Munich, 1979, p. 59.

Otto Wagner; Gebrüder Thonet, Chair, between 1904 and 1906, beechwood, plywood, aluminum. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Dr. and Mrs. George Kamperman Fund and Honorarium and Memorial Gifts Fund, 1985.3.