Chair thumbnail 1
Chair thumbnail 2
+17
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Furniture, Room 135, The Dr Susan Weber Gallery

Chair

1938 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Eileen Gray, the Irish-born designer and architect, produced work which in her own time was considered bold and original. Even today it appears remarkably modern. Though her early work was in a geometric Art Deco style and featured luxury materials, from the 1920s she turned towards the more functionalist approach associated with Modernism.

She designed this chair in about 1938 for her house at Castellar in the south of France, which was built to her own design between 1931 and 1933. The canvas seat is suspended in an S-bend of perforated, laminated wood, and the chair can be folded to half-size for storage. This chair is a prototype and has never been put into production. It was later given to the Museum by the designer.
watch Eileen Gray and her experimental 'S' bend chair
object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Laminated wood, painted, with canvas
Brief Description
Folding chair with S-bend frame, laminated and painted wood with canvas, designed by Eileen Gray, France, 1938
Physical Description
Folding chair, with padded canvas seat suspended between two S-shaped structural supports at the sides, each made of laminated wood painted brown and cream in sections. Metal rods connecting the two sides provide stability. The chair folds in half its depth, the front convex curve folding over and into the cancave back curve, by hinges positioned at seat height. A brown canvas back and head-rest cushion, fixes to the top of the seat sling by four tabs of velcro (not original).

Dimensions
  • Height: 80cm
  • Width: 58.5cm
  • Depth: 98cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Eileen Gray
Object history
Eileen Gray wrote in a letter to Carol Hogben, August 9 1970, (copy on paper catalogue): 'The cushions for openwork fold-up chair were not well made; the head cushion which ought to fold forward as a head-rest or hang backwards, was designed to button on to the mattress in the middle to keep it in place, but the Tapissier, late, in a hurry stuck it on with those deadful tags that did't even match, & it was too late to have them changed. Perhaps Prunella Clough could have this done if you decide that after the present exhbition you want them to go on tour, & keep they for another 6 months. At my age, it is 'after me' that counts...'
Production
Reason For Production: Private
Summary
Eileen Gray, the Irish-born designer and architect, produced work which in her own time was considered bold and original. Even today it appears remarkably modern. Though her early work was in a geometric Art Deco style and featured luxury materials, from the 1920s she turned towards the more functionalist approach associated with Modernism.



She designed this chair in about 1938 for her house at Castellar in the south of France, which was built to her own design between 1931 and 1933. The canvas seat is suspended in an S-bend of perforated, laminated wood, and the chair can be folded to half-size for storage. This chair is a prototype and has never been put into production. It was later given to the Museum by the designer.
Collection
Accession Number
CIRC.579-1971

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record createdDecember 2, 2006
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