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Rare Pair of Bauhaus W199 Chairs by Walter Gropius


Walter Gropius (1883– 1969). Original pair of biomorphic W199 armchairs by pioneering Bauhaus cofounder Walter Gropius, for Thonet, in dark solid nutwood with ergonomic seat sculpted to echo the human form. Thonet label on the underside of one chair. Literature: "Der Architekt Walter Gropius," Winfried Nerdinger, p. 309; "Walter Gropius, Siegfried Giedion," p. 106.


  • Date of manufacture
    circa 1951
  • Period
  • Materials and techniques
  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 31 in. x W 32 in. x D 19 in.

    H 78.74 cm x W 81.28 cm x D 48.26 cm

  • Seller location
    New York, NY
  • 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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