Armchair thumbnail 1
Armchair thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Armchair

1936-1937 (made), 1936-1937 (woven)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In 1936 Frank Lloyd Wright designed an office in a Pittsburgh department store for its owner, Edgar Kaufmann. The room was lined with plywood faced with swamp cypress veneer and the same finish was used for the furniture. This is one of three armchairs that sat around a built-in desk, below a wall decoration made from low-relief diagonal and right-angular plywood panels. The wall relief was echoed in the shape of the armchairs, which were essentially cubes with diagonally-cut rear corners, and embellished with plywood strips. The wooden walls, ceiling, floor and furniture were offset by the pale cream upholstery and carpet, enlivened with hints of lemon yellow, also designed by Wright and woven by Loja Saarinen.

Edgar Kaufmann used the office for two decades until his death in 1955. The whole office, with its furnishings, was presented to the V&A in 1974 by his son, Edgar Kaufmann Jr.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 5 parts.

  • Armchair
  • Seat
  • Seat Back
  • Armrest
  • Armrest
Materials and Techniques
Wood and swamp cypress plywood and upholstery
Brief Description
Armchair of wood and swamp cypress plywood, with removeable upholstered seat, back and armrests, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Edgar Kaufmann's Office, America, 1936-7
Physical Description
Armchair of wood and swamp cypress plywood, with removeable upholstered seat, back and armrests.
Dimensions
  • Carcase height: 68cm
  • Overall (including upholstery) height: 76cm
  • Carcase width: 83cm
  • Overall (including upholstery) width: 83cm
  • Carcase depth: 65cm
  • Overall (including upholstery) depth: 86cm
Credit line
Given by Edgar Kaufmann Jnr.
Object history
Furniture designed for the interior of Edgar Kaufmann's office, Kaufmann's Store, 400 Fifth Ave. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Association
Summary
In 1936 Frank Lloyd Wright designed an office in a Pittsburgh department store for its owner, Edgar Kaufmann. The room was lined with plywood faced with swamp cypress veneer and the same finish was used for the furniture. This is one of three armchairs that sat around a built-in desk, below a wall decoration made from low-relief diagonal and right-angular plywood panels. The wall relief was echoed in the shape of the armchairs, which were essentially cubes with diagonally-cut rear corners, and embellished with plywood strips. The wooden walls, ceiling, floor and furniture were offset by the pale cream upholstery and carpet, enlivened with hints of lemon yellow, also designed by Wright and woven by Loja Saarinen.



Edgar Kaufmann used the office for two decades until his death in 1955. The whole office, with its furnishings, was presented to the V&A in 1974 by his son, Edgar Kaufmann Jr.
Associated Object
w.9:1-1974 (Group)
Collection
Accession Number
W.43A to D-1974

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record createdMay 18, 2005
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