Standard Chair "Tout Bois" by Jean Prouvé

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Jean Prouvé's "Tout Bois" chair was an all-wood version of his famous steel "Standard Chair." Because the exigencies of world war made supplies of steel unobtainable in 1942, Prouvé redesigned the chair to use as little metal as possible (the eight screws which fasten the seat and back are the only parts not made of wood).

The switch from steel to wood gave Prouvé an opportunity to experiment with traditional furniture making methods that were paradoxically new to him, the Machine Age Pioneer. Lovely through-tenons conspicuously join the horizontal members (that support the seat) to the rear legs, and also the front cross-bar to the front legs. Though consistent with the modernist ethic of structural honesty, such labor intensive joinery links Prouvé to the craftsmen of an older era that of his father Victor Prouvé.

While made entirely of oak, this war-time iteration of the "Standard Chair" retains Jean Prouvé's signature rear legs that emphatically express the structural loads of the chair. Thus the distinctive profile, no less confidently architectural than the "pilotis" of a Le Corbusier building. Which may explain Le Corbusier's original choice of these chairs for use in his famous postwar Unité d'Habitation, in Marseilles. All of the early photographs of the interiors of this most influential of Le Corbusier buildings show Prouvé's "Tout Bois" chairs used exclusively in both the dining areas and the bedrooms.

Literature: Jean Prouvé Complete works, Volume 2: 1934-1944, Sulzer, ppg. 33, 294-295 Jean Prouvé, Galerie Patrick Seguin and Sonnabend Gallery, ppg. 234, 250-253 Jean Prouvé, Galeries Jousse Seguin and Galerie Enrico Navarra, ppg. 42-43.


  • Date of Manufacture
    Late 1940s
  • Period
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use
  • Dimensions
    32.5 in. H x 18 in. W x 19 in. D
    83 cm H x 46 cm W x 48 cm D
  • Dealer Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Number of Items
  • Reference Number
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