Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"Klismos" Chair

Terence Harold Robsjohn-Gibbings (American (born England), London 1905–1976 Athens)
Peterson Studios
ca. 1937
Birch, vellum
H. 35 7/8 × W. 24 1/2 × D. 30 3/8 in. (91.1 × 62.2 × 77.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, 2001
Accession Number:
Not on view
Robsjohn-Gibbings’s design derives from the ancient klismos chair, introduced in Greece during the fifth century. The klismos is elegant and light. The curved, tapered legs slope forward and rearward, offering stability. The rear legs sweep continuously upward to support a wide concave backrest like a curved tablet, which supports the sitter’s shoulders and may be low enough to lean an elbow on. Lacking painted decoration, Robsjohn-Gibbings’s chair calls attention to its natural materials.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Curator's Eye: J. Stewart Johnson, 1990–2004," March 1–November 6, 2005, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classic/Fantastic: Selections from the Modern Design Collection," December 21, 2007–April 5, 2009, no catalogue.

Hong Kong Heritage Museum. "The Extraordinary in the Ordinary: Chairs for Viewing the World through Time," June 7–September 15, 2014, unnumbered cat. (p. 37).

Ina M. Germaine, ed. Design for Decoration. New York, 1946, pp. 84–85.

T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings and Carlton W. Pullin. Furniture of Classical Greece. New York, 1963, pp. 20–21.

J. Stewart Johnson in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2000–2001." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 59 (Fall 2001), p. 61, ill. (color).

James Reginato. "Up in the Air." Architectural Digest 68 (May 2011), pp. 122–33, ill.

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