A rare zig zag cocobolo wood chair Don Shoemaker
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A rare zig zag cocobolo wood chair Don Shoemaker
- Creator:Don S. Shoemaker (Maker)
- Dimensions:Height: 30 in (76.2 cm)Width: 22 in (55.88 cm)Depth: 19 in (48.26 cm)Seat Height: 18 in (45.72 cm)
- Style:Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:Cocobolo
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:1981
- Condition:Wear consistent with age and use. Excellent condition with only nominal wear. Beautiful grains and patina. Chair seat has a little residues of applied felt that was to prevent the cushion from sliding. Newly upholstered cushions in a deep purple mohair. Paper stick label underneath.
- Seller Location:Atlanta, GA
- Reference Number:1stDibs: LU9450935218
About the Maker
Don S. Shoemaker
Born in Nebraska in 1919, Shoemaker studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago during the 1930s. In the 1940s he got married, and he and his wife, Barbara, ventured to Mexico for their honeymoon. Enamored with the country, Shoemaker decided that Mexico should become the newlyweds' permanent home. They settled in a town called Santa Maria de Guido in Michoacán, where Shoemaker spent his days painting and growing rare plants.
Through horticulture, Shoemaker became inspired by Mexico’s tropical woods, such as the cocobolo, a Mexican rosewood, and he decided to delve into furniture design. In the late 1950s, he started a small factory, producing hand-carved armchairs, dining room tables, decorative boxes and bowls, and serveware. The popularity of Shoemaker’s furnishings grew throughout Mexico, and his small factory became the Señal S.A. company, employing more than 100 skilled artisans and carpenters.
Shoemaker’s handcrafted designs were essentially a mid-century modern interpretation of traditional Mexican household furnishings, and like Clara Porset — an unsung Cuban-born activist, writer and designer who drew on Mexican craft traditions in her concepts for furniture — he found inspiration from his adopted country. These influences can be seen in iconic Shoemaker originals like the Sling collection of seating, the Suspension stool and several of his table designs.
Shoemaker's furniture was exhibited in showrooms in several major Mexican cities and across the U.S., including Houston, Chicago, and Los Angeles (and mid-century modernist ideas that traveled between Mexico and California didn’t make one-way trips — they bounced back and forth).
After Shoemaker died in 1990, his son George took over Señal S.A. The company closed after George’s death in the early 2000s.
Shoemaker’s Mexican modern furnishings continue to be coveted by avid furniture collectors around the world. From 2016 to 2017, the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City dedicated a retrospective exhibition to honoring his work.
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