Gerald Summers High Back Chair

British

1934

Designed by Gerald Summers (1899-1967)

Made by 'Makers of Simple Furniture' 1932-1940

Birch Ply with a black polish. The black finish was offered in only a few designs by Gerald Summers and so are rarely found today, some 70 years later. It is, therefore, believed that this extremely rare chair may well be unique in this colour.

The back spreads from a tight curve at the base, constrained by the shape of the seat, to a flexible, gentle sweep at the top. This variable curve to the back support is important historically as it pre-dates the multi-directional curves used by the American designers Charles and Ray Eames some ten years later in the 1940's.

Originally offered through Heals, Harrods and select department stores in the US, examples of Summers' designs are now held by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany.

Height 102 cm width 44 cm depth 51 cm (40 x 17.5 x 20 in)

Museums & Exhibitions:
Victoria & Albert Museum: The Bent Plywood Armchair is on permanent exhibition in the new 20th Century Furniture Galleries.
Museum of Modern Art, New York Exhibition 2014: The Magic of Plywood
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Vitra Design Museum
Thirties British Art and Design before the War organized by the Arts Council of Great Britain, London 1979
‘Constructivism in Art & Design’ Crafts Council Gallery, London 1988

Bibliography:
The Design History Journal 1992 Vol.5 No.3 - precis of Masters' thesis by Martha Deese, Metropolitan Museum New York
Gerald Summers: Furniture For the Concrete Age Dunn and Mantz pub. 2012
1000 Chairs Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Cologne 2000 p.232
Design for Today 1934
100 Masterpieces Vitra Design Museum
Furnishing the small Home published London and New York 1930’s by the Studio Ltd.
A History of British Design 1839-1970 Fiona McCarthy pub. 1972
Bent Wood and Metal Furniture 1850-1946 University of Washington Press edited by Derek E. Ostergard

1007/2404
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