The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design

Giles. Nov. 2022. 248p. ISBN 9781913875213. $64.95. DEC ARTS
Lang (Windgate Foundation Curator of Contemporary Craft, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts) has created a fascinating look at American chair design from the early 19th century to modern day. The beautifully illustrated catalogue highlights classical design and innovative ideas. The author parallels the history and growth of the nation with each example, illustrating the chronological development and innovation of chair design. Each of the 49 examples is accompanied by a description that includes the attributed designer’s name, the date, and the social, technological, and stylistic influences present in the design. Readers can follow the progression of design from early European influences to modern concepts driven by popular art movements. By the 21st century, innovative designs were being pushed to the limits by the manipulation of materials in improbable ways, while creating viable functionality. A bibliography for each section is included.
VERDICT A beautifully illustrated and detailed look at the history of chair design in America. Owing to the unique topic, it will best serve academics, students, and aficionados of style and design.
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