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Side chair: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The history of bentwood furniture dates back centuries, but it was Michael Thonet, an enterprising cabinetmaker from Boppard-am-Rein in Germany, who propelled the notion of steam-bending woods (and subsequently, tubular metal) into the 20th century, representing a significant passage from craft to industrial production. In 1819, Thonet began producing delicate, lightweight Biedermeier designs in his hometown, leading to experiments with laminated wood a decade later. Having gained the patronage of Prince Metternich, he moved to Vienna where this side chair was made. Today, this chair serves as a celebrated example in which the stylish forms of Biedermeier furniture converge with a new, revolutionary technology.
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Type: Commentary, Gallery Label - Current
Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 21, 2009