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KEM Weber Airline Chairs

$30,000

About

Extremely rare KEM Weber "Airline" armchair. Weber's most famous work, the "Airline" chair of 1934, exemplified the clean, streamlined style of the age. Although it was practical, stylish and economical to construct and ship, the "Airline" chair was never manufactured in volume and most surviving examples come from the batch of 300 made for the Walt Disney Studios, from which these examples originate, and made by craftsmen rather than machines. Priced Individually

Details

  • Creator
    Kem Weber (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 31 in. (78.74 cm)Width: 24 in. (60.96 cm)Depth: 34 in. (86.36 cm)
  • Style
    Streamlined Moderne (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    1934
  • Condition
    Reupholstered. Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    San Francisco, CA
  • Reference Number
    Seller: A1139,A17011stDibs: LU908625177432

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $599 In-Home Delivery Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 3-8 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: San Francisco, CA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Kem Weber

Architect and designer Kem Weber arrived in the United States in the vanguard of a wave of progressive Central European talents — among them, Rudolph Schindler, Richard Neutra, Paul T. Frankl and Ilonka Karascz — who would profoundly affect the course of modernism in the United States. In his new home, Weber created a wholly American form of modern design that is sleek and stylish, yet comfortable and practical.

Karl Emanuel Martin Weber — “Kem” was his self-styled nom d’usage — was born and trained in Berlin. In 1914, he became an accidental immigrant to the U.S.. Sent to San Francisco by his teacher-turned-employer, architect Bruno Paul, to oversee an installation at a global design expo, Weber was marooned by the outbreak of World War I. But he quickly grew to love California, even if his early years there were difficult. When design commissions were hard to find, he took jobs as a lumberjack, chicken farmer and art school teacher. (He gained U.S. citizenship in 1924.)

In the mid-1920s, while working for the Los Angeles–based Barker Bros. department store — the largest furniture retailer in the country at the time — Weber regularly traveled around the nation to deliver lectures on modernism. His reputation as a champion of a new, clean and elegant style earned him architectural commissions and contracts to design furniture and items such silverware, coffee services and cocktail shakers. His masterpiece is the Airline lounge chair, designed 1934-1935. With its raked, gently angular frame and cantilevered seat, the chair suggests movement, speed and forward progress. Though it seemed perfect for mass production, Weber was never able to convince a major manufacturer to take it on. In the end, fewer than 300 Airline chairs were made. Today, those may be the rarest examples of Weber’s work, but are always worth looking out for. As you will see on these pages, his designs are both intelligent and stylish. They deserve to be a part of any serious collection of American modernism.

About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in San Francisco, CA
Recognized Seller
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Established in 2011
1stDibs seller since 2011
135 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
Associations
20th Century Specialists
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