Prototype for Gazelle Lounge Chair Model 30B

Dan Johnson American

Not on view

Dan Johnson was a mid-twentieth century designer who developed his designs for the Gazelle series during and after completing a commission to design an apartment in Rome. Johnson hired Italian craftsmen to produce walnut, bronze, and aluminum versions of this line of chairs using traditional casting and weaving techniques dating back to antiquity. The bronze versions were finished with an artificial patina called Pompeian Verde, a reference to the design’s classical origins. This chair is a prototype for Model No. 30B, with variations to the form and casting, including a sawn alteration on the two front legs. The furnishing line was ultimately unsuccessful; only about 150 pieces were made, and Johnson’s financial backer, Arch Industries of California, ceased to distribute the work in 1959. Nevertheless, the Gazelle line represents the marriage of classical and modern design, as found in the designs of T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, who also referenced antiquity and who is represented in The Met collection with a klismos style side chair ca. 1937 in wood with a webbed seat (2001.207).

Prototype for Gazelle Lounge Chair Model 30B, Dan Johnson (American, 1918–1979), Bronze and cane

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