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Pair of "W199" Armchairs by Walter Gropius


The legendary Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius designed the rarely seen "W199" armchair in 1951 with Benjamin Thompson, a fellow professor at Harvard. Gropius' teaching career came to an end a year or two later, and he returned to practicing architecture full-time, as principal of the firm he established with Thompson and six other former Harvard colleagues, The Architects' Collaborative. These armchairs work equally well as dining chairs, desk chairs, or reading chairs. They are beautifully constructed of solid nutwood, and are quite comfortable, even for prolonged periods of sitting. A pair of these chairs are available, each of which has a hand-polished lacquer finish in a beautiful shade of bluish gray. Literature: Winfried Nerdinger, Der Architekt Gropius, Mann, Berlin, 1996, p. 309; Siegfried Giedion, Walter Gropius, Dover, New York, 1992, p. 106.


  • Condition
  • Dimensions

    H 29.8 in. x W 23.7 in. x D 21 in.

    H 75.7 cm x W 60.2 cm x D 53.34 cm

  • Seat height
    18 in. (45.72 cm)
  • Seller location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Reference number

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About Walter Gropius (Designer)

As the founder of the Bauhaus — the German art and design school that was one of the chief crucibles of modernism — Walter Gropius had a central and enduring impact on the architecture and design of the 20th century and beyond. Along with fellow Bauhaus principals such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer, Gropius championed a philosophy of design focused on simplicity, efficiency and the inherent beauty of steel, glass and other industrial materials.

     Born in Berlin, Gropius followed in his architect father’s footsteps and after completing his studies was employed by the brilliant proto-modernist designer Peter Behrens. Gropius’s early architectural work demonstrated many of the aspects that define the modernist aesthetic: ribbon windows, an emphasis on light and minimal decoration. Gropius became known primarily as a great organizer, writer and teacher. After military service in World War I, he developed concepts of what are now called the applied arts—a marriage of creative imagination with practical skill and technology. These notions drove Gropius’s founding of the Bauhaus in 1919. The school would welcome many of the great creators of the 20th century, including Paul Klee, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Josef Albers. After the independent-minded college fell afoul of the Nazi regime in the 1930s, Gropius immigrated to the United States, and finished out his years on the Harvard faculty.

     Gropius produced far fewer furniture designs than his fellows on the Bauhaus faculty, but what he did make has a purity of form and spirit. As you will see from the works offered on these pages, Walter Gropius never compromised his vision of design that encompassed beauty, creativity and the highest level of technical skill.

About the Seller

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Located in Los Angeles, CA
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