Ilonka Karasz (American (born Hungary) Budapest 1896–1981 New York, New York)
27 1/2 x 21 5/8 x 21 5/8 in. (69.9 x 54.9 x 54.9 cm)
Purchase, Theodore R. Gamble Jr. Gift, in honor of his mother, Mrs. Theodore Robert Gamble, 1983
Not on view
The Hungarian artist Ilonka Karasz was educated at the Royal School of Arts and Crafts in Budapest, emigrating to America at an early age. She worked as a designer and interior decorator, as well as a painter and illustrator, contributing dozens of New Yorker cover illustrations during her career. Karasz was highly successful and productive in a field almost entirely dominated by men. As a designer, she worked in a number of media, including metalwork, textiles, ceramics, and furniture. This teak chair is typical of her furniture designs of the 1920s-30s. In its angular, geometric form, it is clearly influenced by early twentieth-century European designs, notably those of the Viennese architect and designer Josef Hoffmann, whose son Wolfgang was a personal friend. Much of her furniture of this period, including this chair, is made of unpainted exotic woods, emphasizing their planar, geometric forms and lack of ornament.
the artist, New York (until d. 1981; her estate, 1981–83; sold through Re Formation, Pine Island, N. Y., to MMA)
New York. Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture. "Women Designers in the U.S.A., 1900–2000: Diversity and Difference," November 15, 2000–February 25, 2001, no. 49.
Athens. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. "Enchanting Modern: Ilonka Karasz (1896–1981)," November 15, 2003–February 8, 2004, unnumbered cat. (fig. 66).
Pat Kirkham and Lynne Walker inWomen Designers in the USA, 1900–2000: Diversity and Difference. Ed. Pat Kirkham. Exh. cat., Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, New York. New Haven, 2000, pp. 61, 387, no. 49, fig. I-13 (color).
Ashley Callahan. Enchanting Modern: Ilonka Karasz (1896–1981). Exh. cat., Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. [Athens], 2003, p. 87, fig. 66 (installation photo, house in Java).