The Art of Seating

USD $64.95



ISBN: 978-1-913875-21-3

248 pages

280 × 240 mm (9 ½ × 11 in)

212 colour illustrations

In association with the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen PhD Foundation

November 2022


A fascinating survey of exceptional American chair design from the early 19th century to the present day

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Designed for function, each chair has a story to tell about the history and evolution of American design, art and craftmanship. At the heart of the catalogue is the presentation of 57 chairs from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection of American Art covered in 49 essays, showcasing the beauty of the chairs and their historical context, as well as important social, economic, political and cultural influences. Highlights include designs by John Henry Belter, George Hunzinger, Herter Brothers, Stickley Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, Roy Lichtenstein and Frank Gehry, among others.

The chairs are arranged across four broadly chronological sections, from the early 1800s to the Civil War; from Reconstruction through the Gilded Age to the dawn of the 20th Century; from Art Nouveau to postwar Modernism; and finally, from the post-war Space Age to the Digital Age and the contemporary focus on space saving and sustainability. Each section opens with a brief introduction to its key themes.

Author biographies

Brian J. Lang is chief curator and Windgate Foundation Curator of Contemporary Craft, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts

Kelley N. Keator is project editor, The Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Collector’s Story by Diane DeMell Jacobsen, PhD
  • Introduction by Joan Oklevitch
  • Catalogue by Brian J. Lang
    1: Forging a National Identity: From Neoclassicism to Rococo (1800–1865)
    2: A Nation Rebuilds: From Ashes to the Gilded Age (1865–1900)
    3: Dawn of a New Century: From Modest to Modern (1900–1950)
    4: A Nation Matures: From Space Age to Space Saver (1950–Present)
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Image credits