Attributed to Francis Jourdain French
Not on view
In Vienna in 1903 a group of avant-garde designers formed the Wiener Werkstätte (“Vienna Workshops”) under the direction of the noted architect/designer Josef Hoffmann. Founded on the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, the Wiener Werkstätte strove to provide a wide range of well-designed, often hand-made products for a sophisticated audience and indeed could supply everything from an architectural framework to the smallest decorative accessory. The commercial success of the company was such that by the early 1920s they had opened shops in Paris, Zurich, and New York. Its strict yet vigorous aesthetic of geometry and its structural organization had a strong impact on the contemporary French design industry.
This French chair clearly takes inspiration from Viennese precedents while incorporating a typically French elegance. The overall conception is a pair of stacked cubes; the rounded edges and tapering legs, however, soften the purity of its geometry, an effect furthered by the organic quality of the walnut grain.