Art of Seating

September 22 through November 20, 2015

Few objects tell the history of modern design as eloquently as the chair. Aesthetics trends, the emergence of new technologies, ergonomics, social and cultural developments are all reflected in the evolution of chair design. The Art of Seating presents a survey of exceptional American chair design from the early 19th century to the present day. Designed for function, each chair has a story to tell about our national history and the evolution of American design, art and craftsmanship. The chair is experienced not only as a functional item, but also as sculptural in view - the chair as art. Each of the more than 40 chairs in the exhibition are from the Jacobsen Collection of American Art and were chosen for their beauty and historical context with important social, economic, political and cultural influences. Highlights include designs by John Henry Belter, George Hunzinger, Herter Brothers, Stickley Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi and Frank Gehry among others. Not only does the exhibition provide an opportunity for the viewer to see readily recognizable pieces alongside those rarely seen by the public, it also takes the viewer into the design studio through patent drawings, documented upholstery, artist renderings and multimedia presentations.