Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"B35" Armchair

Marcel Breuer (American (born Hungary) 1902–1981)
Gebrüder Thonet GmbH
Tubular steel, wood, and canvas
32 1/4 × 24 1/2 × 31 1/2 in. (81.9 × 62.2 × 80 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Theodore R. Gamble Jr. Gift, in honor of his mother, Mrs. Theodore Robert Gamble, 1985
Accession Number:
Not on view
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.
[Barry Friedman Ltd., New York, until 1985; sold to MMA]

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. "Significant Objects," November 26, 2002–May 2, 2004, no catalogue.

Christopher Wilk. Marcel Breuer: Furniture and Interiors. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 1981, pp. 82–83, 87, figs. 78 (Museum of Modern Art, New York collection), 85 (installation photo, De Francesco apartment, Berlin, 1929), 95 (installation photo, Paris exhibition, 1930).

Derek Ostergard in Bent Wood and Metal Furniture: 1850–1946. Ed. Derek Ostergard. Exh. cat., American Federation of Arts circulating exhibition. New York, 1987, pp. 286–87, no. 78, ill. (overall and detail) (collection Barry Friedman Ltd., New York), calls it "Lounge chair, Model No. B35)".

Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 2nd ed. (1st ed., 1983). New York, 1994, p. 465, no. 61, ill. (color).

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