1 of 10 images

Rare 1938 "Bryn Mawr" Chair by Marcel Breuer

About

Famous Bauhaus exponent Marcel Breuer's very first design commission in the United States, after joining Walter Gropius at Harvard, was in 1937 for a set of furniture to be used in a new dormitory, Rhoads Hall, at Bryn Mawr College, in Pennsylvania. The largely plywood (with solid birch seat and back) chair Breuer designed for the ensemble has much in common with the advanced and influential designs in plywood he had just produced in England. In form, Breuer's "Bryn Mawr" chair is boldly modern, with aspects that recall both boomerangs and Jean Prouve's "Standard" chairs. Only a few dozen of the "Bryn Mawr" chairs were produced for use at the college, and are today quite rare. Marked with stencil "RHOADS" on underside of seat. Provenance: Rhoads Hall, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA Literature: Christopher Wilk, Marcel Breuer: Furniture and Interiors, New York, 1981, pp. 148 - 151.   

Details

  • Condition
    Good. Lovely vintage condition, ready for use..
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 33 in. x W 19 in. x D 18.25 in.

    H 83.82 cm x W 48.26 cm x D 46.36 cm

  • Seller location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference number
    LU809110492691

Shipping, Returns & Payment

  • Online Payment Methods
    1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
  • Item Invoice
    Generate an invoice that you can customize and print.

About Marcel Breuer (Designer)

The architect and designer Marcel Breuer was one the 20th century’s most influential and innovative adherents of modernism. A member of the Bauhaus faculty, Breuer — like such colleagues as the architects Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and the artists and art theoreticians Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Josef Albers — left Europe in the 1930s to champion the new design philosophy and its practice in the United States.


Born in Hungary, Breuer became a Bauhaus student in 1920 and quickly impressed Gropius, the German school’s founder, with his aptitude for furniture design. His early work was influenced by the minimalist Dutch design movement De Stijl — in particular the work of architect Gerrit Rietveld. In 1925, while he was head of the Bauhaus furniture workshop, Breuer realized his signal innovation: the use of lightweight tubular-steel frames for chairs, tables and sofas — a technique soon adopted by Mies and others. Breuer’s attention gradually shifted from design to architecture, and, at the urging of Gropius, he joined his mentor in 1937 on the faculty of Harvard and in an architectural practice.


In the 1940s, Breuer opened his own architectural office, and there his style evolved from geometric, glass-walled structures toward a kind of hybrid architecture — seen in numerous Breuer houses in New England — that pairs bases of local fieldstone with sleek, wood-framed modernist upper floors. In his later, larger commissions, Breuer worked chiefly with reinforced concrete and stone, as seen in his best-known design, the Brutalist inverted ziggurat built in New York in 1966 as the home of the Whitney Museum of American Art.


Breuer’s most famous furniture pieces are those made of tubular steel, which include the Wassily chair — named after Wassily Kandinsky and recognizable for its leather-strap seating supports — and the caned Cesca chair. Breuer also made several notable designs in molded plywood, including a chaise and nesting table for the British firm Isokon and a student furniture suite commissioned in 1938 for a dormitory at Bryn Mawr College. Whether in metal or wood, Breuer’s design objects are elegant and adaptable examples of classic modernist design — useful and appropriate in any environment.

About the Seller

Top Seller
Vetted
1stdibs seller since 2005
Typical response time: 3 hrs
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Associations:
20th Century Specialists
You may also contact the seller by phoneCall seller through 1stdibs

Why Shop on 1stdibs?

Learn More

Only Vetted, Professional Sellers

Buyer Protection Guaranteed

Fully Insured Global Deliveries

More From This Seller
NaN / set

Pair of Marcel Breuer for Knoll "Wassily" Chair...

Marcel Breuer, Knoll International

American Armchairs

Chrome, Steel

Designed in 1925 by Bauhaus exponent Marcel Breuer, the model B3 chair is best known as the "Wassily" chair, named after painter Wassily Kandinsky (an early admirer and owner of the ...

NaN

Aluminum "BA3" Chair by Ernest Race

Ernest Race

British Side Chairs

Aluminum

Introduced at the V&A Museum's "Britain Can Make It" exhibition of 1946, Ernest Race's "BA3" chair was the UK's first icon of Mid-Century Modernism, an early sign of the optimism tha...

NaN

"121" Chair in Rosewood and Leather by Tobia & ...

Cassina, Afra & Tobia Scarpa

Italian Side Chairs

Leather, Rosewood

Introduced by Cassina in 1965, the Model 121 chair was a very advanced design in its day, and has exuded chic since it first appeared in the apartments of architects and film directo...

NaN

Jugendstil Chair by Richard Riemerschmid

Richard Riemerschmid

German Side Chairs

Brass, Upholstery, Hardwood

The architect Richard Riemerschmid was a leading exponent of the Munich Seccession and designed many varied objects whose influence was felt internationally. His style was characteri...

You May Also Like
NaN

Marcel Breuer S64 Chair by Thonet

Marcel Breuer

Italian Chairs

Wood

Marcel Breuer S64 chair by Thonet.

NaN

Marcel Breuer B5 Chair

Marcel Breuer, Tecta

German Chairs

Steel, Fabric

Chair designed by Marcel Breuer circa 1926 and manufactured by Tecta. Tubular steel, fabric. In good original condition, with minor wear consistent with age and use, preserving...

NaN / set

Marcel Breuer S64 Chairs by Thonet Early Editions

Marcel Breuer

Austrian Chairs

Wood, Chrome

The S64 chair was designed by Marcel Breuer for Thonet in 1929. These original Thonet chairs are made of chrome-plated tubular steel, dark brown and natural bentwood and a cane fini...

NaN

Marcel Breuer B-35 Lounge Chair

Marcel Breuer

German Lounge Chairs

Marcel Breuer B-35 lounge chair retains partial 'Made in Germany' paper label. Beautiful example.

NaN / set

Marcel Breuer Black Leather Chairs

Marcel Breuer

French Chairs

Leather, Chrome

Black leather chairs by Marcel Breuer. This chair was designed in 1928 for Italian editor Govina. The set has chrome tubular structures with laced details on the back.       

NaN / set

Rare Thonet Marcel Breuer Theater Chairs from t...

Marcel Breuer

American Chairs

Metal

16 Sections of Marcel Breuer designed theater chairs that were part of the Andy Warhol Museum. Five chairs per section. Designed in 1928-1929 and produced by Thonet. Each section con...

NaN

Marcel Breuer Wassily Style Yellow Faux Leather...

Marcel Breuer

Unknown Armchairs

Metal

Stunning 1980s chrome and PVC leather (vinyl synthetic leather) chair or armchair featuring style similar to the Mid-Century Modern design of the Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer. Incr...

NaN / set

Set of Four Cesca B64 Dining Chairs by Marcel B...

Marcel Breuer

German Chairs

Steel, Cane, Bentwood

The B64 chair was designed by Marcel Breuer for Thonet in 1927. These original Thonet chairs are made of chrome-plated tubular steel, dark brown natural bentwood and cane. For this ...