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COLLECTION OF DECORATIVE ARTS AND DESIGN Descriptive sheet At a glance Liliane and David M.

COLLECTION OF DECORATIVE ARTS AND DESIGN

Descriptive sheet

At a glance

Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion Curators: Rosalind Pepall (early and modern decorative arts), Diane Charbonneau (contemporary decorative arts) 2 floors, over 800 works

The re-installation of the collection

One collection, one pavilion, the challenges

The Museum’s collection covers 700 years of the history of decorative arts and design, from the 15th to the 21st centuries. The collection is so vast that Rosalind Pepall found it hard to estimate how many works it contained. The Stewart collection alone comprises between 5,000 and 6,000 objects. Consequently the rearrangement of so many works raised many questions about the reorganization, the new plans for the Museum. Should the layout be chronological or theme- based? How would they select a representative sample of the works, faced with the size and variety of the collection?

As well as these constraints, there was the question of the exhibition space, that of the Stewart pavilion. The absence of walls, given the simple design of the building, posed the risk of giving a cluttered appearance.

Given this configuration, together with the diversity of the collection, led the curators to consider a more theme-based arrangement, in which early and modern works would be juxtaposed, giving visitors an overview of the history of the decorative arts and design.

overview of the history of the decorative arts and design. 1 2 3 Design from Italy,

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overview of the history of the decorative arts and design. 1 2 3 Design from Italy,

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of the history of the decorative arts and design. 1 2 3 Design from Italy, Scandinavia,

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Design from Italy, Scandinavia, the U.S., and Quebec, decorative arts of the 1930s, geometric design, ceramics, glass, jewellery, silverware… So many worlds to be fitted into a coherent discourse of many voices to convey the global evolution of creativity. To design the appropriate layout, the Museum called in Nathalie Crinière, creator of the interior décor for the Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

The goals of the reorganization

In consideration of all these issues, in terms of the collection and of its setting, the curators identified two objectives for the reinstallation. The focus would be on contemporary design and recent acquisitions along with works that had not previously been exhibited. By choosing a thematic presentation in terms of design schools and of materials, and by mingling older and current works in a series of juxtapositions, the exhibition would highlight the variety of the collection.

Thus over 800 works will be displayed on the two floors of the Stewart Pavilion in a completely new layout in which the chair is the guest of honour. Throughout the trip through the history of decorative arts and design, chairs will be highlighted by means of a red ribbon running through the show, accentuating their most extravagant developments. While offering a lively and amusing tour, the chairs will help to give an overall view of the collection and will unify the various sections of the exhibition.

Illustrations: 1. Tejo Remy, Born in the Netherlands in 1960, "You Can't Lay Down Your Memories" Chest of Drawers, 1991, Maple, recycled drawers, cotton, Produced by Droog Design, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, D99.159.1.1-41. 2. Pablo Picasso, Málaga 1881 - Mougins 1973, "Tripod" Vase, 1951, Glazed earthenware, Produced by Poterie Madoura, Vallauris, France, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, D96.109.1. 3. Louis Comfort Tiffany, New York 1848 - New York 1933, "Jack-in-the-pulpit" Vase, About 1909-1910, Blown glass, Made by Tiffany Studios, New York, Purchase, Deutsche Bank Fund, 2009.28.

A history, an identity and the donors

THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF ITS KIND IN NORTH AMERICA

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The first appearance of decorative arts at the Art Association

first appearance of decorative arts at the Art Association 3 The members of the Art Association
first appearance of decorative arts at the Art Association 3 The members of the Art Association

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The members of the Art Association had always shown an interest in the decorative arts, antique objects and industrial and artisanal products. In 1879, a committee for industrial and decorative arts was formed. But given the strong influence exerted by the great collectors on the institution in the early decades of its history, the institution focused exclusively on the fine arts.

It was not until 1905 and the lecture given by Percy E. Nobbs that the idea of a museum was first mooted. Nobbs was the professor of architecture at McGill University and a member of the Art Association. In the Phillips Square premises he pleaded for attention to be paid to the decorative arts, as was done in European museums that presented artisanal objects. But he was ahead of his time, and when the new Art Gallery on Sherbrooke Street opened, no mention was made of a Museum.

In 1916 it was the turn of William Brymner, director of the AAM’s Art School, to stress the need to redefine the collections so that they could include the decorative arts. He spoke of the Victoria & Albert Museum and its influence on English craftsmen, whose work it made famous across the world. Eventually it was on the initiative of F. Cleveland Morgan that the decision was taken, in November of that year, to create a “Museum Section”.

in November of that year, to create a “Museum Section”. 2 4 In addition to the
in November of that year, to create a “Museum Section”. 2 4 In addition to the

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In addition to the gifts from Morgan himself, other donations came in that he had sought from friends and acquaintances. He sparked a real enthusiasm for the decorative arts, creating a new generation of collectors with more eclectic tastes. The collection began to grow and could show an astonishing variety of objects. It was enriched by gifts from Mabel Molson, works of traditional Quebec craftsmanship. Other gifts included the Lucie Pillow Collection of 256 pieces of 18th century English china, and the 3,000 Japanese incense boxes from the private collection of Georges Clemenceau, given by Joseph-Arthur Simard. Textiles, furniture, European ceramics and glass of the 18th and 19th centuries completed the holdings of early and modern decorative arts.

This open-mindedness marked a turning point in the history of the Museum. Its collections embraced the civilizations and skills of the entire world, becoming encyclopaedic, so that all eras and all forms of artistic expression could in principle be represented. Our Museum aims to be universal, to embrace the whole cycle of knowledge, to tell a history of the world. This huge project was further reinforced by a gift of capital importance, that of the Liliane and David M. Stewart

capital importance, that of the Liliane and David M. Stewart 5 Cleveland Morgan and the “Museum

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importance, that of the Liliane and David M. Stewart 5 Cleveland Morgan and the “Museum Section”

Cleveland Morgan and the “Museum Section”

As a child Cleveland Morgan was partially blinded, and for six months, to avoid infection in his good eye, he had to wear a blindfold and lived in total darkness. During this time he amused himself by touching and feeling a wide variety of objects and identifying and classifying them. G- H. Germain states that “all his life, he retained the habit of touching everything, feeling plants, decorative objects, even people”, and this led him to become a discriminating collector of art objects from all over the world. He sold, loaned or gave to the Art Association, of which he was a member, treasures he brought back from his travels. It was therefore natural that he should be asked to develop and chair the “Museum Section”. He thus became the MMFA’s first curator of decorative arts and would remain so until his death forty-six years later.

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Illustrations: 1. Worcester Factory, Founded in 1751, Pickle Dish, 1760-1770, Soft-paste porcelain, Gift of Miss Mabel Molson, 1925.Dp.7. 2. ENGLAND, BRISTOL, Patch Box, 18th c., Enamel on copper, brass, iron, Gift of Mrs. C.W. Trenholme, 1917.De.1. 3. Rockingham Factory, Swinton, England, 1745-1842, Pastille Burner, 1825-1840, Bone porcelain, Gift of Margaret Fountaine Brown, 1934.Dp.85a-b. 4. VENICE, Flask, About 1860, Blown glass, brass, Gift of James Morgan, 1917.Dg.9. 5. ITALY, Armoire, About 1535-1600, Walnut, secondary woods, bronze, iron, Gift of Robert Ferretti di Castelferretto, 1998.45.1- 18. 6. GERMANY ?, Sleigh, 1720-1750, Painted and gilded wood, velvet, iron, Gift of Canadian Pacific Railway, 1949.50.Df.6.

A great gift: the Liliane and David M. Stewart collection

In January 2000, thanks to Mrs. Liliane M. Stewart’s generosity and to the initiative of its director Luc d’Iberville- Moreau, the $15-million collection of the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts was accessioned by the Museum. This was one of the most valuable gifts ever received by a Canadian museum.

Liliane and David M. Stewart had always had a passion for fine objects. Mrs. Liliane Stewart loved materials, colours, and modern technologies and skills. She assembled a collection of modern and contemporary decorative art consisting of mass-produced items as well as limited-edition ones and unique pieces illustrating contemporary crafts.

In 1979 the couple also opened the first Canadian museum devoted exclusively to the decorative arts, in the Château Dufresne in Montreal. This museum initially focused on objects from Scandinavia and the United States, which dominated the international design scene in the mid-twentieth century, and then on Italy, Japan, and Germany. The museum thus possessed pieces by the great contemporary designers, including Ettore Sottsass, Gaetano Pesce, Charles Eames, Eva Zeisel, Frank O. Gehry, Karim Rashid, and Arne Jacobsen.

Eva Zeisel, Frank O. Gehry, Karim Rashid, and Arne Jacobsen. 4 5 1 2 3 In

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Zeisel, Frank O. Gehry, Karim Rashid, and Arne Jacobsen. 4 5 1 2 3 In 1997,

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Zeisel, Frank O. Gehry, Karim Rashid, and Arne Jacobsen. 4 5 1 2 3 In 1997,

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Frank O. Gehry, Karim Rashid, and Arne Jacobsen. 4 5 1 2 3 In 1997, because

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Frank O. Gehry, Karim Rashid, and Arne Jacobsen. 4 5 1 2 3 In 1997, because

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In 1997, because of the restricted space of the Château Dufresne and its location outside the downtown core, the Museum of Decorative Arts was invited to move into the MMFA’s Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion, in what is now the StudiO. Liliane M. Stewart commissioned the world-renowned architect Frank O. Gehry to fit up the space allotted to the collection. Three years later, in 2001, Mrs. Stewart donated the entire collection to the Museum. It is now reinstalled in the Liliane and David M. Stewart Pavilion, which was renamed in honour of its generous benefactors.

Thus the five thousand objects by twentieth-century designers, added to the Museum’s existing collection of traditional decorative arts, complete the undertaking launched a century ago by Cleveland Morgan. These two collections tell the story of the decorative arts and design in a continuous chronology from ancient times to the present day.

In 2007, demonstrating her extraordinary generosity once again, Mrs. Stewart gave the Museum a group of over 900 examples of American industrial design. This collection had been acquired through a donation by the American collector Eric Brill to the Liliane and David M. Stewart Programme for Modern Design.

Liliane and David M. Stewart Programme for Modern Design. 6 7 8 Illustrations: 1. Roseline Delisle,

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Liliane and David M. Stewart Programme for Modern Design. 6 7 8 Illustrations: 1. Roseline Delisle,

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and David M. Stewart Programme for Modern Design. 6 7 8 Illustrations: 1. Roseline Delisle, Rimouski

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Illustrations: 1. Roseline Delisle, Rimouski 1952 - Santa Monica, California, 2003, "Quadruple 7 Paratonnerre" Jar, 1989, Unglazed porcelain, slip, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, anonymous gift, D96.154.1a-d. 2. Alessandro Mendini, Born in Milan in 1931, Poltrona di Proust, [Proust's Armchair], From the series "Bau-haus", 1978 (example of 2001), Painted wood and fabric, polyurethane foam, passementerie, Painting: Claudia Mendini, Produced by Atelier Mendini, Milan, Purchase, the Museum Campaign 1988-1993 Fund, 2005.88. 3. Vicke Lindstrand, Göteborg, Sweden, 1904 – Småland, Sweden, 1983, Vase (model LH 1181), About 1953, Blown glass, Produced by Kosta Glasbruk, Orrefors, Sweden, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of the American Friends of Canada through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. I. Wistar Morris III, D88.196.1. 4. Carlo Mollino, Turin 1905 – Turin 1973, "Arabesco" Table, 1950, Maple-faced plywood, glass, brass, Produced by Apelli e Varesio, Turin, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, D88.128.1a-c. 5. Bruno Martinazzi, Born in Turin in 1923, "Goldfinger" Bracelet, 1969, Yellow and white gold, 3/12, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, D93.203.1. 6. Gianni Ruffi, Born in Pistoia, Italy, in 1938, "La Cova" Sofa, 1973, Sofa: polyurethane foam, wool and cotton upholstery, metal, 3 cushions:

polyurethane foam, polyester upholstery, Produced by Poltronova, Montale, Italy, Gift of Joseph Menosky in memory of his wife, Diane, and of Shiva and Shelby, 2010.63.1-4. 7. Christopher Dresser, Glasgow 1834 – Mulhouse, France, 1904, Teapot, About 1879, Silver plate, ebony, Produced by James Dixon & Sons, Sheffield, England, Purchase, Movable Cultural Property grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, the Museum Campaign 1988-1993 and Deirdre Stevenson Funds, 2011.35. 8. George Nelson Associates, "Marshmallow" Sofa, 1954-1955, Painted steel, latex foam, vinyl upholstery, Produced by Herman Miller Furniture, Zeeland, California, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of the American Friends of Canada through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. George Nelson, D81.138.1.

A SELECTIVE STROLL THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHAIR

Workshop of François Gourdeau Armchair

While in previous centuries the development of styles clearly followed the periods of history, in the 19th century the decorative arts deliberately reinterpreted earlier styles. Thus we find historical styles coexisting: neo-Egyptian, neo-Gothic, neo-baroque, neo- rococo and neo-classical. In this era when decorative objects were produced by craftsmen, the furniture industry was flourishing in late-19 th -century Quebec.

was flourishing in late-19 t h -century Quebec. 1 This armchair, typical of the Victorian era

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This armchair, typical of the Victorian era (1837-1901), was made in the workshop of François Goudreau in Quebec City. It was one of a set of twelve belonging to the notary and journalist Théophile Levasseur. The structure, with its straight back and the face carved in the medallion in the upper crosspiece of the back, recalls Renaissance furniture. The design may have been inspired, in a practice common at the time, from a plate in the periodical Le garde-meuble ancien et moderne then appearing in Quebec. The carved figures most often depicted British writers or poets.

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figures most often depicted British writers or poets. 2 Charles Rennie Mackintosh Armchair In the late

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Armchair

In the late 19th century, Art Nouveau was at its height in Europe. Faced with the exuberant decoration of Belgian and French artists, some designers began to develop more geometrical forms. This was

particularly the case in Scotland, where Mackintosh was the main proponent of Art Nouveau.

This distinguished figure was an architect who also designed interiors, furniture and decorative objects. Best known for his furniture – some of his pieces are now iconic – Mackintosh was above all an architect. He felt that architecture was the supreme discipline, the only domain to encompass all the arts.

This armchair was designed at the start of his career, when he was influenced by the Glasgow School of Arts, where students were encouraged to pursue their own styles. The chairs were created to furnish the billiards rooms and smoking-rooms of Kate Cranston’s tea room in 1898-1899, and launched Mackintosh’s career as a furniture designer.

List of chairs on display: Neo-classicism Workshop of François Gourdeau, Armchair The Victorian style Charles
List of chairs on display:
Neo-classicism
Workshop of François Gourdeau, Armchair
The Victorian style
Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Armchair
Art Nouveau
Josef Hoffmann, "Sitzmaschine" Reclining Armchair
Art Deco
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, "Red-Blue" Chair
Modernism
Harry Bertoia, "Diamond" Armchair
Post-modernism
Verner Panton, Chair (model PA 100)
Note: We have chosen to focus on a selection of chairs to
provide a sample group of objects from the collection. This
choice was guided by the novel idea of linking the tour to the
pathway formed by the red ribbon linking the chairs. The idea
was not to limit the diversity of the collection to chairs, but
rather to illustrate it by way of the chair.

It exemplifies his earliest designs, in which the simplicity of shape and material conformed to the ideals of the English Arts and Crafts movement. Mackintosh was very aware of balance in the composition of the lines and shapes of his furniture. It was this approach that gave his pieces their architectural dimension and presence.

Illustrations: 1. Workshop of François Gourdeau, Active in Quebec City, 1864-1916, Armchair, About l870, Varnished walnut, upholstery, Gift of the Succession J.A. DeSève, 1986.Df.2. 2. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow 1868 - London 1928, Armchair, 1898- 1899, Oak, Made by Francis Smith & Son, Glasgow, Purchase, gift of Peter and Grier Cundill in memory of their mother, Mrs. Ruth Cundill, Movable Cultural Property grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage under the terms of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, and Alain Laferrière Fund, 2007.64.

Josef Hoffmann "Sitzmaschine" Reclining Armchair

In its radical simplicity and straightforward use of materials, this armchair anticipates the revolutionary chair
In its radical simplicity and
straightforward use of materials,
this armchair anticipates the
revolutionary chair designs of the
1930s.
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Trained as an architect, Hoffmann taught at the Vienna School of Applied Arts, and was closely associated with the Vienna Secession, founded in 1897. Together with Koloman Moser he founded the Wiener Werkstätte, arts and crafts workshops aimed at raising the standards of design and combining the talents of architects, artists and designers to work towards the “total work of art”. Hoffmann was inspired by the creations of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and C.R. Ashbee. His impact on the world of architecture can be measured by his realizations, which include the Purkersdorf Sanatorium in Vienna and the Stoclet Palace in Brussels.

This reclining chair is a perfect example of modern design. Manufactured by Jacob & Josef Kohn, a firm renowned for its bentwood furniture, it was first exhibited at the Vienna Kunstschau in 1908. Its design, based on the basic geometric shapes of rectangle, square and sphere, is easily mass-produced and assembled. The strongly accentuated backwards curve of the armrests, each of which is composed of a single piece of wood, shows Hoffmann’s complete mastery of the bentwood technique. In this Sitzmaschine or “machine for sitting”, all the nuts and screws are visible. This creation demonstrates both in its design and in its name, the accent is on function and technology.

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Gerrit Thomas Rietveld "Red-Blue" Chair

The designs for architecture and furniture launched by Rietveld during the 1920s and 1930s became torchbearers for modernism. This chair, his most famous work, is a classic of 20th -century design in its simplicity.

The Dutch architect and designer G. T. Rietveld is known for his association with the De Stijl group. The designs for architecture and furniture the produced in the 1920s and 1930s became torchbearers for modernism. His oeuvre, with its spatial and technical innovations, had a profound influence on his contemporaries and on the designers of the 20th century.

After beginning as an apprentice in his father’s furniture workshop from 1899 to 1906, Rietveld worked as a draughtsman for a jeweller. He set up as an independent cabinet maker in Utrecht from 1911 to 1919 while studying architecture. Throughout his career he continued to design buildings, interiors and furniture.

Believing in the principle that art should be within everyone’s grasp, he manufactured most of his furniture with inexpensive wood products readily available on the market.

Rietveld, a member of De Stijl from 1919 to 1931, incorporated the group’s defining principles in his three-dimensional works – the use of right angles and primary colours. His Red-Blue Chair is the finest example of his production at that time, and his most famous work. The structure of the chair in completely visible like a skeleton, with no part hidden. The space is not enclosed by the form but filtered through the structure.

Illustrations: 1. Josef Hoffmann, Pirnitz, Moravia, 1870 - Vienna 1956, "Sitzmaschine" Reclining Armchair, About 1908, Beechwood, laminated wood, Produced by Jacob & Josef Kohn, Vienna, Purchase, Deutsche Bank Fund, 2002.51.1-2. 2. Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Utrecht 1888 - Utrecht 1964, "Red-Blue" Chair, 1918 (example 1960s), Wood, Executed by Gerard van de Groenekan, De Bilt, Netherlands, Purchase, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts' Volunteer Association Fund, 2003.38.

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Harry Bertoia "Diamond" Armchair

Bertoia’s brief foray into the world of furniture design left us one of the most memorable modern chairs, outstanding in the clarity of its design.

In 1930 the Italian-born architect, sculptor and designer Harry Bertoia moved to Detroit, where he studied at the art school of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. In 1943 he joined the studio of Charles and Ray Eames, where he made jewellery. Hired by Knoll Associates in 1950, he established a workshop where he designed metalwork furniture for the company. As an architect, Bertoia made his name in 1954 with a design for the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. in New York. This was a welded steel screen composed of sloping plates of copper, nickel and brass, which won him the Architectural League of New York’s gold medal.

Chairs are sometimes described as if they were sculptures, forgetting that design objects have less of an artistic purpose than a functional one. However, Bertoia’s chairs were indeed created as truly functional sculptures. It was after 1952, when he was working for Knoll Associates, that he made the Diamond chair, using metallic lattice work. Thereafter he made all his new furniture in welded steel wire, designed as transparent shapes floating in space, a lattice of motifs composed of small diamond shapes inside one larger one.

The visual transparency that characterizes Bertoia’s sculptures chimes with his conviction that furniture should remain as simple as possible. Thus the combination of slender metal rods and a surface comprised of one volume allows his furniture, like his sculptures, to float and communicate with their surroundings. With his chairs the geometry becomes expressive, what he describes as “an organic principle resembling a cellular structure”. On the other hand, the relationship of the seat to the base does not seem organic. Bertoia did not consider this a problem, claiming that one had to distinguish the structure of the chair from the seat on the basis of clarity.

Verner Panton Chair (model PA

100)

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the basis of clarity. Verner Panton Chair (model PA 100) 2 The designers and manufacturers of

The designers and manufacturers of the 20th century dreamed of mass- producing a chair made of a single piece requiring no assembly. This became possible after World War II when synthetic materials like PVC, ABS plastic, vinyl, acrylic and polyurethane foam, first developed by the aviation industry, began to be used for domestic purposes.

The first single-form chair to be mass-produced came about as a result of a partnership between the Danish designer Verner Panton and the Vitra Company of Switzerland. Panton, one of the most multi-talented of contemporary industrial designers, created a wide range of products including furniture, lighting fixtures and textiles.

He was especially known as a designer of chairs, and tirelessly explored the possibilities of creating single-form chairs. After he presented his prototype in 1960, it took him another eight years to find the right plastic for making a single-form stackable model sufficiently curved to leave enough room for the sitter’s legs.

Much research was also necessary to obtain the lively colours and smooth, shiny finish. The choice of materials required the introduction of varying thicknesses so as to produce a sturdy, durable chair able to stand up to outdoor use over a long period.

The stackable, single-form injection-moulded plastic chair is still Panton’s most important creation in the field
The stackable, single-form injection-moulded
plastic chair is still Panton’s most important
creation in the field of contemporary design.

Illustrations: 1. Harry Bertoia, San Lorenzo, Italy, 1915 - Bally, Pennsylvania, 1978, "Diamond" Armchair, 1952, Steel, plastic, Produced by Knoll International, New York, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, by exchange, D98.122.1. 2. Verner Panton, Gamtofte, Denmark, 1926 – Kolding, Denmark, 1998, Chair (model PA 100), 1960-1967 (example of 1974), Luran-S thermoplastic, Produced by Vitra, Weil am Rhein, Germany, for Herman Miller International, Zeeland, Michigan, Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Herman Miller Furniture Co., D83.136.1.