Pair of Eero Saarinen Executive Side Chairs
About the Item
- Design:Executive Armless ChairExecutive Series
- Dimensions:Height: 31.5 in (80.01 cm)Width: 31.75 in (80.65 cm)Depth: 19 in (48.26 cm)
- Sold As:Set of 2
- Style:Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:circa 1965
- Condition:Wear consistent with age and use. Minor fading. Minor pitting to chrome.
- Seller Location:Port Jervis, NY
- Reference Number:1stDibs: LU958624449682
Saarinen Executive Armless Chair
With the founding of the Knoll Planning Unit at Knoll Associates in 1946, the modern open-plan office was born. Soon after the launch of the internationally celebrated design firm’s workplace-focused division, the Saarinen Executive Armless chair would emerge as one of its seating staples. A departure from more rigid office seating, the 1950 design by Finnish architect Eero Saarinen (1910–61) offered some of the comfort of his 1948 Womb chair in a more formal shape. Nicknamed “that chair with the hole in the back” for its sculptural seat back, it fit easily into mid-century boardrooms and corporate cafeterias as part of the harmonious interiors designed by Florence Knoll, a legendary figure in mid-century modernism.
Saarinen and Knoll met while they were studying at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where Saarinen’s father, Eliel, was dean. Their lifelong friendship led to some of the most revered designs of the 20th century. Like his work in architecture, from the Gateway Arch to the TWA Flight Center, Saarinen’s furniture used innovations in postwar materials to create dynamic volumes. The Executive Armless chair expanded on Saarinen’s ergonomic experiments in molded plywood furniture that he had designed in collaboration with fellow Cranbrook alumnus Charles Eames (with assistance from Ray Eames), work which had been honored in the Museum of Modern Art’s Organic Design Competition.
The chairs introduced as the 71 and 72 Series found their initial multipurpose use in the Knoll office interiors but soon were popular in home dining rooms and living spaces. Knoll, Inc. continues to produce the Saarinen Executive Armless chair, with options updating the design’s original fiberglass form including an exposed plastic back or upholstered polyurethane shell joined by a contoured plywood seat and sturdy legs in steel or wood.
Through his work as an architect and designer, Eero Saarinen was a prime mover in the introduction of modernism into the American mainstream. Particularly affecting were the organic, curvilinear forms seen in Saarinen’s furniture and his best-known structures: the gull-winged TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy airport in New York (opened 1962), Dulles International Airport in Virginia (1962) and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri (1965).
Saarinen had a peerless modernist pedigree. His father, Eliel Saarinen, was an eminent Finnish architect who in 1932 became the first head of the Cranbrook Academy of Art in suburban Detroit. The school became synonymous with progressive design and decorative arts in the United States, and while studying there the younger Saarinen met and befriended several luminaries of mid-century modernism, among them Harry Bertoia and Charles and Ray Eames.
At Cranbrook, Saarinen also met Florence Schust Knoll, who, as director of her husband Hans Knoll's eponymous furniture company, would put Saarinen’s best designs into production. These include the Grasshopper chair, designed in 1946 and so named because its angled bentwood frame resembles the insect; the Tulip chair (1957), a flower-shaped fiberglass shell mounted on a cast-aluminum pedestal; and the lushly contoured Womb lounge chair and ottoman (1948). In his furniture as in his architecture, the keynotes of Eero Saarinen’s designs are simplicity, strength and grace.
- ShippingRetrieving quote...Ships From: Port Jervis, NY
- Return Policy
A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.
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