See more objects with the tag interior, children, seating, miniature, chairs, curved, geometric, grid, playful, chair.

See more objects with the color silver dimgrey or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline

-0001

1945

  • Work on this object began.

1965

  • Work on this object ended.

1991

  • We acquired this object.

2001

2014

2015

2019

  • You found it!

#426 Child's Chair, ca. 1955

This is a Child's chair. It was designed by Harry Bertoia and manufactured by Knoll International. It is dated ca. 1955 and we acquired it in 1991. Its medium is bent enameled steel, woven wool upholstery. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Italian-born artist Harry Bertoia was primarily a fine artist, but began working with chair design at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he was a student in 1937–39 and then a metalworking instructor until 1943. In 1950, fellow Cranbrook alum Florence Knoll, who ran furniture manufacturer Knoll Associates with her husband Hans, offered Bertoia a salary, studio, and no-strings-attached freedom to experiment with art and design as he wished, believing fully in his talents. During this time, Bertoia eschewed design research and instead worked with metal wire—a material in which he had been interested for over a decade—using his artistic sensibilities. After two years he developed his first wire-frame seating furniture, which, fortunately for Knoll, was highly successful, remaining in continuous production today. The artist-designer has likened his wire-frame chairs to his sculptural work, saying of them: “In the chairs many functional problems have to be satisfied first...but when you get right down to it, the chairs are studies in space, form and metal, too.” The Cooper Hewitt chair is a child’s-size version of Bertoia’s original side chair from this set, which would be the designer’s only furniture line, as he soon returned to crafting sculpture and architectural installations.

It is credited Gift of Mel Byars.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

  • Ingredients Necklace, 2008
  • pyrite, glass, gold, wool, kevlar.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-11
  • Small Diamond Chair, ca. 1957
  • bent plastic-coated metal wire, woven cotton upholstery, foam rubber.
  • Gift of the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material....
  • 2011-22-1

Its dimensions are

50.5 x 34.5 x 31 cm (19 7/8 x 13 9/16 x 12 3/16 in. )

Cite this object as

#426 Child's Chair, ca. 1955; Designed by Harry Bertoia (American, b. Italy, 1915 - 1978); USA; bent enameled steel, woven wool upholstery; 50.5 x 34.5 x 31 cm (19 7/8 x 13 9/16 x 12 3/16 in. ); Gift of Mel Byars; 1991-59-55

This object may be subject to Copyright or other restrictions.

You are welcome to make fair use of this image under U.S. Copyright law and in compliance with our terms of use. Please note that you are responsible for determining whether your use is fair and for responding to any claims that may arise from your use.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18636965/ |title=#426 Child's Chair, ca. 1955 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 September 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>