Modern Design /20 March 2005


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Barcelona chair
Josef Muller
Germany, c. 1931
chrome-plated steel, leather
30 w × 30 d × 30 h in (76 × 76 × 76 cm)

The two screw lap connection at the corners date this example to the earliest years of production. Perhaps the most recognizable chair design of the twentieth century, the Barcelona chair was designed for the German Pavilion at the 1929 Exposicion Internacional Barcelona. The architectural structure and monumental quality were achieved through the use of cushioned seats and a cross-line silhouette. Mies's melding of traditional and modern features is apparent in this interpretation of the scissor form found in ancient Greek decoration. Literature: Mies van der Rohe, von Vegesack and Kries, ppg. 37-40 illustrates and discusses the chair

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $12,000

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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 1886–1969

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was one of the most prominent modernist architects of the twentieth century, known for his pure creations of architectural form. Mies van der Rohe was born in 1886, in Aachen, Germany. His father was a stone mason, and as a child, Mies was fascinated by the rich materials his father used to build. In 1909, despite a lack of formal training, Mies moved to Berlin to work for an architect. He showed such promise that famed architect, Peter Behrens hired Mies to work at his firm. Mies soon joined the Deutscher Werkbund, a movement that sought to work in the style of William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement through the creation of objects and buildings that were both functional and useful.

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