Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"31" Armchair

Artist:
Alvar Aalto (Finnish, Kuortane 1898–1976 Helsinki)
Manufacturer:
Artek Oy
Date:
1931–32
Medium:
Laminated and painted birch plywood and bentwood
Dimensions:
H. 25-3/4, W. 23-1/2, D. 30-1/2 in. (65.4 x 59.7 x 77.5 cm.)
Classification:
Furniture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Meltzer Gift, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.223
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 913
Aalto created this lightweight, economical, and comfortable chair by suspending a scrolled seating panel between two U-shaped wood frames. It is built as a free cantilever, which allows the chair to be supported without back legs, a principle previously applied only to metal furniture. The piece is composed of laminated plywood, a material as strong as bent tubular steel but warmer and more textured. Flowing organic contours accentuate the chair’s appeal to a prospective sitter.
[Susan Pisarkiewicz, Vienna, 1983–84; sold to MMA]

Baltimore. Walters Art Gallery. "Art Nouveau to Art Moderne: Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 2–April 28, 1985, no catalogue.

Raleigh. North Carolina Museum of Art. "Art Nouveau to Art Moderne: Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 22–August 11, 1985, not in brochure.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part ll: 1925-1950," May 9–October 29, 2000, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Highlights from the Modern Design Collection: 1900–Present, Part II," May 23, 2011–July 1, 2012, no catalogue.

R. Craig Miller in "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1983–1984. New York, 1984, p. 111, ill.

Juhani Pallasmaa in Alvar Aalto: Between Humanism and Materialism. Ed. Peter Reed. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1998, p. 28.

Marc Treib in Alvar Aalto: Between Humanism and Materialism. Ed. Peter Reed. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1998, p. 48.

Kenneth Frampton in Alvar Aalto: Between Humanism and Materialism. Ed. Peter Reed. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1998, pp. 122, 124, colorpl. 64 (Museum of Modern Art, New York collection), pl. 65 (drawing).

Richard Meyer. "Changing Partners: Richard Meyer on 'Reimagining Modernism' at the Met." Artforum (November 2015), ill. p. 143 (color, installation photo).



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