The Chair of Tomorrow
In 1939, New York held its first World’s Fair in over 80 years—The World of Tomorrow. One of the most expansive and well-attended, the fair ushered in a new era of modern design with works by Walter Dorwin Teague, Le Corbusier, Norman Bel Geddes and more.
Pioneering industrial designer Donald Deskey made his international debut at the fair working with the Royal Metal Manufacturing Company to design a series of furniture forms including sofas, love seats, tables and chairs. The suite of eighteen pieces captured the essence of modernity for which the fair was themed, and through material and form, Deskey characterized the very latest in design. Made with tubular satin chrome steel, the industrial nature of this new material contrasts with the deep and comfortable padding of the cushions upholstered in luxurious leathers, velvets and mohairs. Moving down the legs of the present lot, the balled feet of this piece are Deskey’s most creative attribute; the spherical shape of the foot here, and on the other works in the collection, echo the iconic modernist structures Trylon and Perisphere by architects Wallace Harrison and J. Andre Fouilhoux for the fair. Deskey's beautiful and sleek forms are an imaginative homage to The World of Tomorrow, both literally as well as ideologically.