Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    1938 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gray, Eileen, born 1878 - died 1976 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Laminated wood, painted, with canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Eileen Gray

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Furniture, Room 135, The Dr Susan Weber Gallery, case BY2, shelf EXP

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.

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).

Place of Origin

France (made)


1938 (made)


Gray, Eileen, born 1878 - died 1976 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Laminated wood, painted, with canvas


Height: 80 cm, Width: 58.5 cm, Depth: 98 cm

Object history note

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...'

Descriptive line

Folding chair with S-bend frame, laminated and painted wood with canvas, designed by Eileen Gray, France, 1938

Production Note

Reason For Production: Private


Wood; Canvas


Furniture; Woodwork


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.