Skip to main content

Norman Cherner Chairs

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.

7
3
1
to
9
2
11
8
8
10
7
4
6
1
3
Height
to
Width
to
Depth
to
6
4
3
6
4
3
3
3
3
4
3
3
11
5
4
3
2
10
10
49
365
343
298
290
Creator: Norman Cherner
Set of 4 Norman Cherner Directional Side Chairs Plycraft
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft, Directional
Located in Fraser, MI
Please feel free to reach out for accurate shipping to your location. Set of 4 Norman Cherner side chairs. Walnut veneer on chrome bases. These chairs have rare Directional labels. ...
Category

1960s Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Norman Cherner for Plycraft Bentwood chair with Yellow Vinyl cushion 1960s
By Norman Cherner
Located in Ocean Grove, NJ
Really cool Mid-Century Modern designer Norman Cherner for Plycraft Bent plywood chair with Yellow Vinyl (Naugahyde) cushion from the 1960s. This would have originally been used as ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Naugahyde, Bentwood, Plywood

Norman Cherner for Plycraft Bentwood Swivel Chair with Cream Upholstery
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in Chicago, IL
Attention Collectors! This architecturally captivating swivel chair designed by the acclaimed Norman Cherner is ideal for those searching for authentic Plycraft pieces from the early...
Category

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

Materials

Upholstery, Bentwood

Pair of Norman Cherner Side Chairs
By Norman Cherner
Located in Berlin, Berlin
Pair of side chairs designed by Norman Cherner. U.S.A., Cherner, 1958. A pair of recent production side chairs in classic walnut laminate on moulded plywood...
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Walnut

Set of 5 Norman Cherner For Plycraft Steam Bent Plywood
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in New York, NY
SET of 5 American Mid-Century dining chairs with beige painted steam bent plywood frames and orange vinyl upholstered backs and seats. (NORMAN CHERNER FOR P...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Iconic Mid Century Cherner Plycraft Bent Ply Chair
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
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...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Upholstery, Plywood

Set of Norman Cherner Pretzel Dining Chairs, Made by Plycraft, USA, 1960s
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
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 s...
Category

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

Materials

Wood

Cherner Task Chair with Arms
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
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 additi...
Category

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

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....
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Wood

Cherner Task Chair
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
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 additi...
Category

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

Materials

Walnut

Cherner Task Chair
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
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 additi...
Category

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

Materials

Walnut

Related Items
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 Chairs

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

  • Norman Cherner Dining Chairs, Set of Eight
  • Norman Cherner Dining Chairs, Set of Eight
  • Norman Cherner Dining Chairs, Set of Eight
  • Norman Cherner Dining Chairs, Set of Eight
H 31.25 in W 17.5 in D 19 in
Norman Cherner Pretzel Chairs in Leather and Wood Frame by Plycraft, Set of 4
By Norman Cherner
Located in Chicago, IL
Pretzel arm chairs by Norman Cherner for Plycraft in bleached white wood and ivory faux leather. Good original condition.
Category

20th Century Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Leather, Maple

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. If you are in the New Jersey , New York City Metro Area , ple...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Wood

Mid-Century Modern "Pretzel" Armchair by Norman Cherner for Plycraft
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Mid-Century Modern "Pretzel" armchair by Norman Cherner for Plycraft. ________________________________________ Transforming a piece of Mid-Century Modern furniture is like bringing...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Wood, Birch, Bentwood

Norman 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 det...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary North American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Walnut

  • Norman Cherner Armchair
  • Norman Cherner Armchair
  • Norman Cherner Armchair
  • Norman Cherner Armchair
H 31.5 in W 26.5 in D 21.5 in
Iconic "Mrs. Chair" by George Mulhauser for Plycraft
By George Mulhauser, Plycraft
Located in San Diego, CA
Iconic "Mrs. Chair" by George Mulhauser for Plycraft, circa 1960s. This is the second version of the 'smaller "Mrs." chair that was introduced to provide an alternative for women in ...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Naugahyde, Walnut

Set of Norman Cherner Pretzel Dining Chairs, Made by Plycraft, USA, 1960s
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
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 s...
Category

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

Materials

Wood

Swivel Chair by Mulhauser for Plycraft
By George Mulhauser, Plycraft
Located in New York, NY
Rare and unusual form not often seen, designed by George Mulhauser for Plycraft. Swivel upholstered chair in orange vinyl with bent ply shell, c...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Upholstery, Plywood

Rare Design Bent Wire Frame Wood Arm Mid-Century Modern Dining Side Chair
By Jean Royère, Clifford Pascoe
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Very nice rare modernist design Mid-Century Modern dining side armchair.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Metal, Wire

Mid-Century Bentwood Chairs in the Style of Norman Cherner
By Norman Cherner
Located in Brooklyn, NY
This pair of mid century chairs in the style of Norman Cherner feature a bentwood design, original vinyl upholstered seat backs, and black painted tapered legs which offer a modern a...
Category

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

Materials

Bentwood

Bentwood Lounge Chair and Ottoman by George Mulhauser for Plycraft, USA, 1960s
By George Mulhauser
Located in Deland, FL
As comfortable as it iconic this lounge chair and ottoman set, designed by the acclaimed George Mulhauser, is the epitome of functional art. Constructed of walnut plywood audaciously...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner Mid Century Chair
By The Cherner Chair Company, Norman Cherner
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 Chairs

Materials

Wood

  • Norman Cherner Mid Century Chair
  • Norman Cherner Mid Century Chair
  • Norman Cherner Mid Century Chair
  • Norman Cherner Mid Century Chair
H 32 in W 17 in D 20.5 in
Previously Available Items
Cherner Side Chair by Norman Cherner for Plycraft
By Norman Cherner
Located in Centreville, VA
Iconic dining chairs designed by Norman Cherner for Plycraft in the United States in 1958. This set of five dining chairs are an early model of Cherner design with original conditi...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Bentwood

Mid-Century Modern Set of 6 Norman Cherner for Plycraft Stacking Chairs
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
Located in Keego Harbor, MI
A set of 6 Norman Cherner for Plycraft stacking chairs. A lovely set of chairs designed by Norman Cherner. These fabulous wood and metal chairs feature a very sleek Mid-Century Modern design. They are designed to be stackable as pictured above. They feature a very beautiful wood grain that looks amazing in natural light. These chairs are in very good condition with scratches and scuffs common to used furniture...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Wood

Pair of Norman Cherner Mid-Century Modern Matching Side Chairs
By Norman Cherner
Located in West Hartford, CT
Iconic pair of vintage midcentury Norman Cherner chairs. They have normal age appropriate wear as they should given their age, almost 65 years old! All dimensions are above. We have ...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Teak, Walnut

Early Norman Cherner Pretzel Chair for Plycraft in Walnut, c. 1960
By Norman Cherner
Located in Deland, FL
A rare and exceptional design piece by Norman Cherner for Plycraft. Constructed from walnut bentwood, the plunging sculptural lines make this eye-catching decorative chair the perfec...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner Pretzel Armchair for Plycraft Walnut Upholstery 1960s MCM Classic
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Iconic Pretzel armchair designed by Norman Cherner and made by Plycraft, still retaining original label. Laminated walnut construction with older recovered blue upholstery. Surprisin...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

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 Chairs

Materials

Wood, Beech

Mid Century Norman Cherner for Plycraft Teak Set 10 Stacking Chairs
By Norman Cherner
Located in Keego Harbor, MI
For your consideration is a set of 10 Norman Cherner for Plycraft "Series 7" or "Model 3107" teak stacking chairs with the original vintage labels ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Teak

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 Chairs

Materials

Wood, Walnut, Faux Leather

  • Norman Cherner Bar Stools
  • Norman Cherner Bar Stools
  • Norman Cherner Bar Stools
  • Norman Cherner Bar Stools
H 43.5 in W 17 in D 18 in
Norman Cherner "Pretzel" Chair for Plycraft
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in North Hollywood, 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 Chairs

Materials

Walnut

Vintage Sculptural "Pretzel" Dining Chairs by Norman Cherner for Plycraft
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in North Hollywood, 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 Chairs

Materials

Walnut

Norman Cherner for Plycraft Mid Century Pretzel Dining Chairs, Set of 6
By Plycraft, Norman Cherner
Located in Countryside, IL
Norman Cherner for Plycraft Mid Century Pretzel Dining Chairs - Set of 6 The armchairs measure: 17 wide x 21.5 deep x 31 high, with a seat heig...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Wood

Norman Cherner Pretzel Armchairs for Plycraft, Pair
By Norman Cherner, Plycraft
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Pair of very Original Norman Cherner Pretzel armchairs. Chairs in nice shape, original vinyl seat shows a little wear but chairs are very solid!...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Norman Cherner Chairs

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Norman Cherner chairs for sale on 1stDibs.

Norman Cherner chairs are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Norman Cherner chairs, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 5 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 3 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original chairs by Norman Cherner were created in the mid-century modern style in united states during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider chairs by Mel Smilow, Russel Wright, and Harvey Probber. Prices for Norman Cherner chairs can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $925 and can go as high as $22,500, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $1,919.

Recently Viewed

View All