An Important Dining Suite

From the Family of Gerrit Rietveld

In the late 1950s, Gerrit Rietveld’s grandson Alphonso “Fons” Johannes Seyler and his family embarked on a journey that took them from their home in The Netherlands to the Caribbean island of Aruba. Fons—the son of Guus Seyler and Elisabeth Rietveld—and his wife Gerda, were to manage Cas di Cultura, a cultural center in the capital city of Oranjestad that still operates as a hub for theater and music to this day. As a parting gift, Rietveld’s trusted cabinetmaker and longtime assistant, Gerard van de Groenekan, presented the family with this dining suite: a sleek table and set of six Zig-Zag chairs. After over a decade on the Island, the family returned to The Netherlands in 1971 with the dining suite in tow. It remained a cherished fixture in the Seyler’s home until 2011, when it was acquired by the present owner. 

Gerrit Rietveld

Gerrit Rietveld was a celebrated designer and architect, famous for bringing the principles of the De Stijl Movement to these disciplines. Rietveld was born in 1888 in Utrecht, Netherlands to a family of cabinetmakers and later studied drafting and architecture. Rietveld opened his own furniture studio in 1917 and soon after became involved with the De Stijl Movement. In 1918, he designed his now-famous Red Blue armchair, which was heralded as a distillation of the movement’s emphasis on geometry, primary colors and an objective language of forms. He regarded this chair, and others he would design, as “spatial creations,” rather than simply furniture. The Schröder House in Utrecht, designed by Rietveld in 1924, is regarded as the architectural embodiment of the ideals of De Stijl and his most important work. In 1928, Rietveld distanced himself from De Stijl and became concerned with the challenges of affordable housing. He was a visionary in designing prefabricated and standardized buildings, of which the architectural world would not consider more seriously until the 1950s. In the 1930s and 1940s, Rietveld largely worked on private commissions and designed enduring modernist icons such as the Crate chair and Zig Zag chair, both from 1934. His last major work before his death in 1964 was the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which was completed in 1973.

Auction Results Gerrit Rietveld