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Armchair - MR20 Armchair
  • MR20 Armchair
    Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, born 1886 - died 1969
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MR20 Armchair

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Frankenberg (Manufactured)

  • Date:

    1927 (Designed)
    1932-1940 (Manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, born 1886 - died 1969 (Designer)
    Thonet (Manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tubular steel, caning

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs F.W. Bradshaw

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Cantilevered tubular steel armchair, painted green, with a continuous caned seat and back and cane-wrapped arms.

Place of Origin

Frankenberg (Manufactured)


1927 (Designed)
1932-1940 (Manufactured)


Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, born 1886 - died 1969 (Designer)
Thonet (Manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Tubular steel, caning


Height: 75 cm, Width: 56 cm, Depth: 89 cm

Object history note

The chair was said by the donor to have been salvaged from the St James's Theatre, King Street, St James's, London, which was demolished in 1957 despite a high level protest campaign. The last major refit of the theatre, which was built in 1835, was in 1900 and no record of modernist interiors is yet known.

Descriptive line

German 1928 des. Mies van der Rohe

Labels and date


Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (German, 1886-1969)
Probably manufactured by Thonet, Germany
Chromium-plated tubular steel, painted (later), with woven cane

One of the most startling innovations in modern furniture - or so it seemed to contemporaries - was the development of the modern cantilever chair. Because the seat floated in mid-air without any visible means of support it signalled to many the triumph of the designer over the laws of nature. It is said that people were afraid to sit on this chair when it was first introduced because they feared it would collapse.

Given by Mrs F.W. Bradshaw
Circ.861-1968 []

Production Note

Thonet began production of this chair in November 1932


Tubular steel; Cane (plant material)




Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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