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Dan Johnson Armchairs

American, 1918-1979

While most postwar furniture designers were looking to the future, Dan Johnson found inspiration in the past. The mid-century modern maverick is remembered for his beautiful armchairs, lounge chairs and dining tables with designs that are reminiscent of ancient Rome.

The American furniture designer began his career in the late 1940s by creating solid wood pieces like desks and dining chairs for California furniture manufacturer Hayden Hall. By the early 1950s, he was designing chairs and tables for American furniture importer and producer Selig. In 1955, Johnson moved to Rome on an apartment design commission. While there, he launched Dan Johnson Studio with the goal of bringing a modern approach to the Roman furniture of antiquity.

The pieces from this era of Johnson’s career are characterized by their sculptural metal designs. His most famous work was the elegant Gazelle line, sold in America by Selig. It features dining tables, coffee tables and multiple chair designs that involve a green “Pompeian Verde” patina, metal framing and traditional caning techniques. Due to a high manufacturing cost, the production line was limited and is highly exclusive today.

Another popular design by Johnson for Selig in the 1950s was the Viscount chair. More typical of the mid-century style, it was made with a wood frame, polished brass accents and orange leather upholstery. In the 1960s, Johnson designed a similar aluminum chair for American furniture manufacturer and distributor Shelby Williams, this one with blue upholstery.

Johnson died in 1978. The Gazelle armchair is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum and Denver Art Museum, and a prototype of the Gazelle lounge chair is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Interior designers regularly use Johnson’s furniture for upscale outdoor spaces in California and New York.

On 1stDibs, find Dan Johnson seating, tables, desks and more.

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Creator: Dan Johnson
Dan Johnson"Viscount" Chair
By Selig, Dan Johnson
Located in Highland, IN
Often incorrectly attributed to Danish designer Ib Kofod-Larsen, these elegant chairs are an early design by American architect Dan Johnson. They were produced and distributed by Sel...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dan Johnson Armchairs

Materials

Brass

Dan Johnson for Shelby Williams Aluminum Armchair - rare variation
By Dan Johnson, Shelby Williams
Located in Chicago, IL
Cast aluminum chair designed by Dan Johnson for Shelby Williams. Manufactured by Crucible Products. This appears to be a early variation where no wood arms were ever attached. As T...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dan Johnson Armchairs

Materials

Aluminum

Completely Restored Dan Johnson for Viscount Mid-Century Brass Armchair 1950s
By Kodawood, Dan Johnson
Located in St. Louis, MO
Dan Johnson "Viscount" for Kodawood, distributed by Selig, armchair or desk chair, circa 1950s. Refinished in dark ebony stain with new foam, orange leather and polished brass. Arm h...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Dan Johnson Armchairs

Materials

Brass

Pair of deep red leather 'Viscount' chairs by Dan Johnson for Selig
By Dan Johnson
Located in Kleinburg, ON
This stunning armchair is a rare example of Dan Johnson’s Viscount design for Selig, featuring a sleek brass frame and a rich cognac leather upholstery. The chair has a distinctive m...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dan Johnson Armchairs

Materials

Brass

Pair of Gazelle 10B chairs in all cast aluminium by Dan Johnson
By Dan Johnson
Located in Kleinburg, ON
The Gazelle chair was designed by Dan Johnson in 1958 as part of a series of chairs that Johnson developed during and after completing a commission to design an apartment in Rome. Jo...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dan Johnson Armchairs

Materials

Aluminum

Dan Johnson “Viscount” Cognac Leather and Brass Accent Armchair for Selig
By Selig, Dan Johnson
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Mid Century Modern “Viscount” armchair designed by Dan Johnson for Selig in Denmark circa 1950’s. This elegant design features a newly refinished wa...
Category

1950s Danish Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dan Johnson Armchairs

Materials

Brass

Pair of bronze Gazelle chairs Dan Johnson
By Dan Johnson
Located in Atlanta, GA
A pair of bronze "Gazelle" armchairs model 20B. These amazingly sculptural chairs were designed and cast in solid bronze by Dan Johnson circa 1950s. Iconic mid-century silhouette tha...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dan Johnson Armchairs

Materials

Bronze

Rare Dan Johnson for Shelby Williams Walnut and Aluminum Armchair, circa 1960s
By Dan Johnson, Shelby Williams
Located in Shippensburg, PA
A RARE DAN JOHNSON FOR SHELBY WILLIAMS CAST ALUMINUM AND WALNUT SWIVEL-BACK ARM CHAIR Manufactured by Crucible, circa 1960s Item # 011FPA11K-1 Built to last an eternity, this cast a...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Dan Johnson Armchairs

Materials

Aluminum

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Dan Johnson armchairs for sale on 1stDibs.

Dan Johnson armchairs are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of metal and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Dan Johnson armchairs, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. Many of the original armchairs by Dan Johnson were created in the mid-century modern style in united states during the mid-20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider armchairs by Mel Smilow, Paul Frankl, and John Stuart. Prices for Dan Johnson armchairs can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $1,600 and can go as high as $32,000, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $2,895.

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