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Norman Cherner Furniture

American, 1921-1987

Norman Cherner was an influential designer who explored postwar technological innovations and how to incorporate them into furniture production and architecture. And while its history is complicated, his Cherner chair is one of the most successful examples of mid-century modern molded plywood seating.

Born in New York City, Cherner was an architect and a prolific designer who taught at Columbia University’s Teachers College. An enthusiast of the Bauhaus, he gave lectures in the late 1940s on the principles of the legendary German design school at the Museum of Modern Art.

Cherner was fascinated with the concept of cost-efficient design, and this extended into his pioneering ideas for prefabricated housing. His philosophy was that a modular home should be a complete design concept that included economical furniture and lighting. He published several DIY books, such as How to Build a House for $6,000. Cherner caught the interest of a housing cooperative in upstate New York and was contracted to design and oversee the construction of prefabricated housing in the town of Ramapo. The U.S. Department of Housing assembled a pre-built Cherner home for exhibition in Vienna.

But he is best known for his chair.

In the 1950s, one of George Nelson’s designers, John F. Pile, created the Pretzel chair. It had structural problems and proved too costly to make at Herman Miller, where Nelson was director of design. Production was subcontracted to Massachusetts company Plycraft, but the agreement didn’t last long owing to a dispute between the furniture manufacturers. Based on a recommendation from Nelson, Plycraft sought out Cherner to redesign the chair so that it would be durable and affordable to produce.

Cherner submitted his redesign only to be told that Plycraft had shelved the project. However, Plycraft secretly began producing what would become the Cherner chair under a different name — and Cherner later stumbled across his seat in New York. Cherner sued Plycraft and won. The chair became instantly popular after being featured in a Norman Rockwell illustration for a Saturday Evening Post cover in September of 1961.

Other noteworthy Cherner designs include his Konwiser furniture line, Multiflex storage units and tube lighting. The Museum of Modern Art praised his Konwiser collection as “some of the most progressive furniture designs available to the American public.”

In 1972, Plycraft discontinued production of his chair, and Cherner died in 1987. In 1999, his two sons founded the Cherner Chair Company and began making furniture based on their father's original designs for armchairs, chairs — including the Cherner chair — tables and credenzas.

Find vintage Norman Cherner furniture on 1stDibs today.

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Creator: Norman Cherner
Classic Pair Modernist Plywood Side Chairs by Norman Cherner for Plycraft
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in Buffalo, NY
Classic Pair Modernist plywood side (dining) chairs by Norman Cherner for Plycraft, ,Stunning sculptural walnut made from steam form bent walnut plywood ,,c.1950. .Nice original cond...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Plywood

Cherner Ottoman
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
Located in Berkeley, CA
The ottoman is the latest addition to the Cherner seating collection. This new design combines a molded plywood shell and laminated wood base which are combined to produce a dynamica...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Vintage Norman Cherner Swiveling Bar Stools for Plycraft
By Norman Cherner
Located in Cincinnati, OH
A pair of rare swiveling sculptural molded dark walnut bar stools with black leatherette upholstery on the seat back and bottom. A sculptural look with black metal foot rests and det...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Cherner Bar Stool with Metal Base
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The 1958 molded plywood stools by Norman Cherner have been seen in some high places. Available in counter or bar height with a wood or metal base. The seat is made of laminated plywo...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Iconic Mid Century Cherner Plycraft Bent Ply Chair
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in New York, NY
Iconic Mid Century bent plywood chair designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft with original Plycraft label, dated 1964. This example is in very good, original condition, showing only...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Plywood

Mid-Century Modern "Pretzel" Armchair by Norman Cherner for Plycraft
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Mid-Century Modern "Pretzel" armchair by Norman Cherner for Plycraft.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Wood, Birch, Bentwood

Cherner Armchair
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
Located in Berkeley, CA
Originally introduced in 1958, the iconic molded plywood armchair by Norman Cherner is found in collections worldwide. Reissued in exacting detail from the original drawings and mold...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner 4 Drawer Credenza
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
Located in Berkeley, CA
Multiflex casegoods are lightweight, strong and made entirely from laminated, cross-ply and molded plywood. Clear or Classic finish on American Walnut veneers are complimented by the...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Rectangular Table
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
Located in Berkeley, CA
Introduced in 2003, Cherner tables are designed by Benjamin Cherner to compliment Cherner seating. Perfect in a formal or informal setting, the tables are strong and lightweight. Che...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner Pretzel Dining Side Arm Chair Made by Plycraft 1960's
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
Located in Wayne, NJ
Norman Cherner pretzel dining chairs, made by Plycraft in the 1960's.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Wood

Norman Cherner Plycraft Pretzel Chairs, a Pair
By Norman Cherner
Located in Phoenix, AZ
Pair of Norman Cherner for Plycraft pretzel arm chairs circa early 1960's. Newly and impeccably refinished. Price listed is for the pair.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner Plycraft Pretzel Armchairs
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in Palm Springs, CA
A pair of pretzel armchairs designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft. These chairs likely date from the 1960’s. Black vinyl cushions. Wood is in good condition with age marks and wear...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Bentwood

Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Walnut Plycraft Chairs, Pair
By Norman Cherner
Located in West Hartford, CT
Sculptural pair of Norman Cherner Plycraft chairs made from steam form bent walnut, circa 1950's. Unique, original, iconic and coveted. Own the best.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut, Plywood

Mid-Century Modern 10 Pretzel Dining Chairs by Norman Cherner for Plycraft
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
Located in Stamford, CT
Mid-Century Modern Set of 10 Pretzel chairs/Armchairs by Norman Cherner for Plycraft U.S.A. (1920–1987) A pioneer both in molded plywood and prefab housing, Norman Cherner studied...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Plywood

Cherner Chair Company Molded Wood Dining Chairs, Set of 4
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
Located in West Hartford, CT
The Cherner chair is an elegant example of Mid-Century Modern design. The chair’s construction utilizes a molded plywood beech core seat with a unique construction of laminated plywo...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Wood, Beech

Norman Cherner for Plycraft Mid Century Walnut Round Expanding Dining Table
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
Located in Countryside, IL
Norman Cherner for Plycraft mid century walnut round expanding dining table This table measures: 42 wide x 42 deep x 29.25 inches high, with a chair clearance of 25.5 inches, each...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner Dining Chairs, Set of Eight
By Norman Cherner
Located in Atlanta, GA
Set of eight sculptural dining chairs, designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft, American, circa 1950s. They have all been refinished and reupholstered in black vinyl. They measure: 3...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Vintage Sculptural "Pretzel" Dining Chairs by Norman Cherner for Plycraft
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
Located in Burbank, CA
Stunning vintage sculptural "Pretzel" dining chairs designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft in the United States, circa 1960s. This incredible design utilizes a molded plywood frame ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner "Pretzel" Chair for Plycraft
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
Located in Burbank, CA
Amazing vintage "Pretzel" chair designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft in the United States, circa 1960s. This incredible design utilizes a molded plywood frame that provides a slee...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner 2 Door 2 Drawer Credenza
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
Multiflex casegoods are lightweight, strong and made entirely from laminated, cross-ply and molded plywood. Clear or Classic finish on American walnut veneers are complimented by the...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner Armchair
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
Originally introduced in 1958, the iconic molded plywood armchair by Norman Cherner is found in collections worldwide. Reissued in exacting detail from the original drawings and mold...
Category

20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner 4 Door Credenza
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
Multiflex casegoods are lightweight, strong and made entirely from laminated, cross-ply and molded plywood. Clear or Classic finish on American Walnut veneers are complimented by the...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner Mid Century Chair
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Countryside, IL
Norman Cherner mid century chair The chair measures: 17 wide x 20.5 deep x 32 high, with a seat height and chair clearance of 18 inches All pieces of furniture can be had in ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Wood

Set of Norman Cherner Pretzel Dining Chairs, Made by Plycraft, USA, 1960s
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
Located in London, GB
A set of four original Norman Cherner pretzel dining chairs, made by Plycraft, USA, in the 1960s. Bentwood frames. Priced for the set. In very good original vintage condition. Ships ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Wood

Cherner Bedside Table
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
Perfectly scaled storage with a single drawer. The new bedside tables are built entirely from laminated, molded and cross-ply plywood. American Walnut veneers and contrasting exposed...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Classic Mid Century Pretzel Arm Chair by Norman Cherner for Plycraft
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in Buffalo, NY
Classic mid century Pretzel arm chair by Norman Cherner for Plycraft: Great original condition, Retains original seat and back padded cushion fabric, Extremely comfortable, Sculptura...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Naugahyde, Plywood

Set of 4 Cherner Chairs by Bernardo / Plycraft
By Norman Cherner
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Set of 4 dining chairs designed by Norman Cherner for Bernardo (Plycraft). Molded walnut plywood shell with steel rod base. Original labels are missing on some but are signed Bernard...
Category

1950s Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Steel, Chrome

Lovely Pair of Norman Cherner Plycraft Pretzel Chairs, Mid-Century Modern
By Norman Cherner
Located in Pemberton, NJ
Lovely pair of labelled Norman Cherner Plycraft pretzel armchairs. This pair has a pickled white finish and bone colored faux leather in nice vintage condition.
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Faux Leather, Wood

Pair of Vintage Norman Cherner Plycraft Wood Leather Chairs
By Norman Cherner
Located in Pasadena, TX
Pair of vintage Norman Cherner plycraft bent wood leather chairs Norman Cherner studied and taught at the Columbia University Fine Arts Department and was an instructor at the M...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Oak

Norman Cherner Bar Stools
By Norman Cherner
Located in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Stylish Norman Cherner bar chairs. These hand crafted chairs are individually signed and numbered by the makers from the world renowned company. American Natural Walnut veneer up...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Wood, Walnut, Faux Leather

Norman Cherner Table for Konwiser MOMA Exhibit Good Design Mid-Century Modern
By Norman Cherner
Located in Hyattsville, MD
Rare petite side table, awarded MoMA's Good Design distinction. Tabletop surface and edge has been restored. There is a very shallow small indention on the edge of the top, this can ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Iron

Norman Cherner Plycraft Chair Upholstered in Cowhide and Painted
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in Miami, FL
Norman Cherner Plycraft chair Upholstered in Cowhide and painted Offered for sale is a painted bentwood and laminated wood chair designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft Furniture ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Cowhide, Wood

Set of 3 Bent Wood Dining Chairs by Norman Cherner for Plycraft
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in Wayne, NJ
Set of 3 bent plywood dining chairs by Norman Cherner for Plycraft.
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Wood

Cherner Under Counter Stool, Counter Height
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
Located in Berkeley, CA
The latest design from Benjamin Cherner. The under counter stool features a molded plywood seat with laminated wood base and a bright chrome footrest. Available in bar and counter he...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Plycraft Chairs by Norman Cherner
By Norman Cherner
Located in Van Nuys, CA
This is a set of 4 colorful chairs designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft. Each chair is painted in its own unique color: red, green, blue, and yellow. They all have white cushions ...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Wood

Cherner Studio Desk
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The new Studio desk is designed for Designers. Available in two sizes to fit your workspace. Made to last with all cross-ply plywood construction and solid wood edgebanding. Includes...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Lounge Armchair
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
Located in Berkeley, CA
The lounge chair and ottoman designed by Benjamin Cherner is the latest addition to the Cherner seating collection. A molded plywood shell, solid bentwood arm and laminated wood base...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Armchair with Metal Base
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
Located in Berkeley, CA
The 1958 molded plywood stacking chairs by Norman Cherner are perfect for home, office or cafe. The seat is made of laminated plywood of graduated thickness, from 15 plys to 5 plys a...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Lounge Side Chair
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
Located in Berkeley, CA
The lounge chair and ottoman designed by Benjamin Cherner is the latest addition to the Cherner seating collection. A molded plywood shell, solid bentwood arm and laminated wood base...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Oval Table
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
Introduced in 2003, Cherner tables are designed by Benjamin Cherner to compliment Cherner seating. Perfect in a formal or informal setting, the tables are strong and lightweight. Che...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Under Counter Stool, Bar Height
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The latest design from Benjamin Cherner. The under counter stool features a molded plywood seat with laminated wood base and a bright chrome footrest. Available in bar and counter he...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Bar Stool with Wood Base
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The 1958 molded plywood stools by Norman Cherner have been seen in some high places. Available in counter or bar height with a wood or metal base. The seat is made of laminated plywo...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Task Chair with Arms
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The 1958 molded plywood task chair by Norman Cherner is now available to a new generation of furniture collectors. A strong, lightweight and graceful addition to the home or office. ...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner Rare Prototype Armchair for Plycraft
By Norman Cherner
Located in LAGUNA BEACH, CA
Rare Norman Cherner prototype armchair for Plycraft.
Category

1960s American Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Rosewood

Cherner 2 Door 2 Drawer File Cabinet
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
Multiflex casegoods are lightweight, strong and made entirely from laminated, cross-ply and molded plywood. Clear or Classic finish on American Walnut veneers are complimented by the...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Task Chair
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The 1958 molded plywood task chair by Norman Cherner is now available to a new generation of furniture collectors. A strong, lightweight and graceful addition to the home or office. ...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner 4 Door Cabinet
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
Multiflex casegoods are lightweight, strong and made entirely from laminated, cross-ply and molded plywood. Clear or Classic finish on American Walnut veneers are complimented by the...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Round Table
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
Introduced in 2003, Cherner tables are designed by Benjamin Cherner to compliment Cherner seating. Perfect in a formal or informal setting, the tables are strong and lightweight. Che...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Coffee Table
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The latest addition to the Cherner table collection. The coffee table comes in two sizes in Natural or classic Walnut. Molded plywood base with a 1? profiled exposed edge tabletop.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Side Table
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The new side table is a versatile small scale table for living, bedroom or lounge areas. The veneered top is made from 1-1/8? thick cross-ply plywood with an exposed profiled edge. T...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Side Chair with Metal Base
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The 1958 molded plywood stacking chairs by Norman Cherner are perfect for home, office or cafe. The seat is made of laminated plywood of graduated thickness, from 15 plys to 5 plys a...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Task Chair
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
The 1958 molded plywood task chair by Norman Cherner is now available to a new generation of furniture collectors. A strong, lightweight and graceful addition to the home or office. ...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Cherner 6 Drawer Dresser
By Norman Cherner, The Cherner Chair Company
Located in Berkeley, CA
Multiflex casegoods are lightweight, strong and made entirely from laminated, cross-ply and molded plywood. Clear or Classic finish on American Walnut veneers are complimented by the...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner, Sofa
By Norman Cherner
Located in San Francisco, CA
Norman Cherner, sofa. A rare floating back sofa with enameled steel legs by Norman Cherner. Newly restored in a beige Moore & Giles leather with tufting and covered buttons. Literat...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Furniture

Materials

Steel

Norman Cherner furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Norman Cherner Furniture is available on 1stDibs for sale. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Norman Cherner collection of furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock, we have 23 vintage editions of these items, while there are also 27 modern editions to choose from. Many of Norman Cherner's original furniture was created in Mid-Century Modern style in North America during the 21st Century and Contemporary. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Frederick Weinberg, Charles Pollock and Richard Schultz. The prices for Norman Cherner furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $419 and tops out at $12,127, while pieces like these can sell for $2,519 on average.

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