See more objects with the tag interior, home, seating, sculptural, chairs, comfort, bent, angular, chair.

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

Object Timeline

1947

  • Work on this object began.

2000

  • We acquired this object.

2001

2013

2015

2020

  • You found it!

"Barwa" Chair, introduced 1947

This is a chair. It was designed by Edgar Bartolucci and John J. Waldheim and manufactured by Barwa Associates. It is dated introduced 1947 and we acquired it in 2000. Its medium is bent tubular aluminum, canvas. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Designed as a streamlined update from Michael Thonet’s bentwood lounge chairs through Le Corbusier and Marcel Breuer’s metal versions of the 1920s and 1930s, the “Barwa” – a combination of designers Bartolucci and Waldheim’s names – became synonymous with postwar American leisure. The chair was aligned with an easy lifestyle in a 1949 ad titled “Revolution in Relaxation,” and again in a 1960s advertisement for Hilton Hotels in the Caribbean. Its bent aluminum frame allowed the sitter to rock back for feet-over-head reclining, seen as the epitome of healthful relaxation.

This object was donated by Edgar Bartolucci. It is credited Gift of Edgar Bartolucci.

  • Chair (USA), ca. 1948
  • slumped plate glass, metal, textile.
  • Museum purchase through gift of George R. Kravis II and from General....
  • 2013-1-1
  • Long Chair (Estonia), 1936
  • bent birch (frame), bent and molded birch-faced plywood (seat).
  • Museum purchase through gift of George R. Kravis II, Anonymous Donor, and....
  • 2013-17-1
  • Bubbles Chaise Longue, ca. 1988
  • layered and bent corrugated cardboard.
  • Museum purchase from the Members' Acquisitions Fund of Cooper-Hewitt,....
  • 2012-3-1

Our curators have highlighted 4 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

Its dimensions are

104h x 53w x 132.4d cm (40 15/16 x 20 7/8 x 52 1/8 in. )

Cite this object as

"Barwa" Chair, introduced 1947; Designed by Edgar Bartolucci and John J. Waldheim; USA; bent tubular aluminum, canvas; 104h x 53w x 132.4d cm (40 15/16 x 20 7/8 x 52 1/8 in. ); Gift of Edgar Bartolucci; 2000-17-1

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

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/18678301/ |title="Barwa" Chair, introduced 1947 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=10 April 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>