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Judith Miller

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The fascinating art of seating & chairs

  • Judith Miller
  • 20 Feb 2011, 3:27 PM

I was a little rushed earlier but now that I'm ready to go I thought I would say a little more about the wonderful symposium 'The Art of Seating'. It's a really excellent exhibition which runs until April 3rd that includes 40 chairs that are the collection of Dr. Diane Jacobsen and her lecture on the collection was fascinating, as was The history of Style by the curator of her collection Andrew VanStyn, who is from Baltimore. We were thrilled to have a lecture by Benjamin A Pardo from New York on the design and development of a Knoll office chair. He is Senior Vice President of Design at Knoll, and was involved in directing all stages of the chair from concept, design, prototypes, testing, manufacturing to marketing the product. All, I can say after sitting in it - is that I want my office chair replaced! I also had many stimulating discussions with some chair designers/makers, in particular Jon Brooks, who was Wendell Castle's first pupil and works out of New Boston, New Hampshire (see his 'Solid Elm Ball Chair 1970), Vivian Beer who is also working in New Hampshire (I'm sure you can find a photo of her chair in the exhibit called 'Current' which she designed in 2004) and also Dolf James who is local and designed an installation, a whimsical play on the concept of the chair for the Museum. It really has been a delight to meet so many creative minds still inspired to make exciting and provocative chairs.