‘Art of Seating’

Joslyn Art Museum gives chair its due with exhibit featuring ‘200 Years of Design’

Designed and Manufactured by Vivian Beer (b. 1977), Penland, NC, Current, 2004; Photo by Douglas J. Eng

Though Plato demanded we stand up straight as possible to establish our intellectual separation from the baser desires of appetite and reproduction, he no doubt said it, like all good philosophers, while sitting down.

Much to the dismay of many a chiropractor, Americans spend on average about nine hours a day sitting?  No mystery then that we take our chairs seriously, but we don’t often think of them as works of art. Artists of all kinds do and the Joslyn Art Museum is featuring a grand exhibition of 40 of the ultimate in sitting/seating on display until Sept. 8.

The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Designis now in full swing at the Joslyn. The exhibit of 40 pieces is from the Jacobsen Collection of American Art, and was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida.

The exhibit treats the chair not only as an everyday item but as functional sculpture; each of the forty chairs in the exhibition reflect important artistic, social, economic, political and cultural influences.

The show features from the  functional and modest to the creative and futuristic, from early 19thcentury to currently contemporary. Chair designers include Noguchi and Saarinen, Eames and Bertoia, just to drop a few names. Examples vary from Asian-influences to Mid-century Modern, often mimicking associated architectural trends.

The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Designis a ticketed show; there is an entry fee for non-Museum members. Please check the Museum website for ticket prices at joslyn.org or call 402-342-3300.

Category: Art

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