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Robert Whitley American Studio Craft Movement Upholstered Lounge Chair, 1968


A modernist, upholstered lounge chair comprising a solid American Black Walnut frame, with a floating seat supported by a stationary pedestal base, and an ingeniously designed backrest that sets into the seat via two integrated 'pins', designed by Robert Whitley. Originally designed in 1968 as a commission for a Manhattan-based stockbroker who wanted dining table seating that would be conducive to relaxing and enjoying the views from his residence, Whitley placed one of these chairs at either end of the table, along with a matching settee version at either side. In the spirit of Eero Saarinen a decade prior, one of Whitley's motivations was to eliminate the typical 'slum of legs' beneath chairs and tables, while the choice of a 5-inch seat cushion ensured exceptional comfort usually reserved for lounge chairs. He also made a version with a revolving base. *In total, no more than 15-20 examples of this design have ever been produced. This chair is an early example, evidenced by the original rubber webbing stapled into place beneath the seat (Whitley later switched to thin strips of white oak). The chair has brand-new cushions and new pale gray, textured cotton fabric upholstery. Signed 'WHITLEY' beneath the front of the seat. It has a beautiful, untouched patina and is supremely comfortable. *Please call us to come by the SATYRICON showroom and see the chair in person. A contemporary of fellow New Hope artists, Phillip Lloyd Powell and Paul Evans, Robert Whitley is a third-generation master craftsman living in Bucks County, PA, whose expertise in both contemporary design and antique design and restoration have earned him two presidential commissions, numerous national awards and exhibitions, and the title of master conservator at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. Now retired, his work is part of collections at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C., the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, among others.


  • Condition
    Good. Original, untouched patina. Heavy and solid. Some fading to finish at arms. Normal, expected signs of age and wear. Original rubber has hardened. Presents beautifully.
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor fading.
  • Dimensions

    H 28 in. x W 33 in. x D 30 in.

    H 71.12 cm x W 83.82 cm x D 76.2 cm

  • Seat height
    17 in. (43.18 cm)
  • Seller location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Reference number

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About the Seller

Top Seller
1stdibs seller since 2009
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Located in Brooklyn, NY
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