"B35" Armchair

Artist: Marcel Breuer (American (born Hungary) 1902–1981)

Manufacturer: Gebrüder Thonet GmbH

Date: 1928–29

Medium: Tubular steel, wood, and canvas

Dimensions: 32 1/4 × 24 1/2 × 31 1/2 in. (81.9 × 62.2 × 80 cm)

Classification: Furniture-Wood

Credit Line: Purchase, Theodore R. Gamble Jr. Gift, in honor of his mother, Mrs. Theodore Robert Gamble, 1985

Accession Number: 1985.127

Description

Following the success of his "Wassily" chair, Breuer continued to experiment with tubular steel furniture. He partnered with the German manufacturer Thonet, designing a number of chairs, stools, and ottomans made from this lightweight, traditionally industrial material. In the "B35" armchair, Breuer employed seemingly continuous steel runners as the chair's frame. The seat and back were upholstered in simple canvas, and the armrests padded with lacquered wood. Both the seat and armrests are dramatically cantilevered without vertical supports, emphasizing both the tensile strength and the slenderness of the tubular steel construction. Like Breuer's "Wassily" chair, the "B35" was not a direct product of the Bauhaus; it does, however, clearly conform to Bauhaus principles of design and construction, with its modern, stripped-down form made from industrial materials not typically used in furniture at this time.

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