This photo, (and the drawing in it), is by Saul Steinberg.
When I put a room together I like to include one odd chair...something with character that gives a room an individual quality, like inviting an interesting friend to visit. I search for chairs that have a sculptural silhouette, that look good from all angles.
I prefer to find chairs that aren't known too well, though some of the classics are hard to resist. The anthropomorphic chairs designed in the 40's and 50's such as Saarinen's Womb chair, Arne Jacobsen's Egg chair (funny how those names relate) and his Swan chair, Bertoia's Bird chair, and the Eames' Molded Plywood chairs are fantastic designs. Still, when I find other chairs that are unfamiliar it creates more of a unique room.
This 1950's Karpen chair is sitting in a corner of our Bedroom. A series of rounded back armchairs follow...they sit particularly well in corners of rooms, and in corners of seating groups as well, as they're easy to walk around.
From Danish designer Ib Kofod-Larsen (1921-2003) this 1950's chair, the "Elizabeth Easy Chair" is photographed at J.F. Chen:
A Steinberg cat on an Eames chair:
I love the un-decorated back rail as well as the proportions of this French Louis XV style Bergere chair from the 1880's. I used it as the subject of the drawing for my business card.
A Rene Prou Fauteuil circa 1940. I like the way he's modernized the lines of Louis XV style wood frames, preserving some of the curves in a cleaner simpler design.
A set of Seagull Chairs by Arne Jacobsen from 1973 at Hallworth:
Seen in Marie Clair Maison, this simple lines of this French chair are enhanced by the use of a stripe on the back. The alternate fabric on the seat prevents the stripe from overwhelming the chair.
Matisse made this chair a character in the painting through his use of color.
A chair in Matisse's studio:
"Soiree", 1917-1919, by Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944)... a setting full of interesting chairs .
"Heat", 1919, by Florine Stettheimer...chairs in the garden giving respite during a heatwave in the days before air conditioning.
A photo of the artist, Florine Stettheimer:
Here's a group of square backed lounge chairs. This one is a 19th century Louis XVI style Bergere Chair.
In a room designed by Axel Vervoordt near Bruges:
Designed by Lou Hodges, 1970, at Reform Gallery:
Some high back chairs follow... photographed at J.F. Chen, this is the "Big Eva Chair" by Kersten Horlin Holmquist...so personable!
A view of the back:
A swivel lounge chair by Gerard Van Der Berg at Downtown, from 1965:
The Tulip Chair, by Pierre Paulin, 1965:
You can see the back of the Tulip chair in this photo of a Sitting Room I designed in Brentwood.
I've always liked Wing chairs...the height can give a vertical emphasis to a room, and they create a sense of privacy. This one is from the 1940's, redone, and being reproduced by Lawson-Fenning:
This Wing Chair is in the style of Dorothy Draper, from the 1940's.
I remember seeing this Wing Chair for the first time many years ago at Troy in New York. It's got an unforgettable silhouette...very animated. It was designed by the Danish Frits Henningsen (1889-1965)in the 1930's.
A Louis XV style Bergere Wing chair with a tufted back, made in the 1950's.
Another take on a Wing Chair...The Grand Papilio designed by Naoto Fukasawa in 2009, from B&B Italia:
From the New York Times, this is Derry Moore's Living Room. The pink Wing Chair looks well lived.
In the corner of our Studio, this 1950's armless chair is from Karpen, in Chicago.
Slipper chairs, (low chairs without arms) are good for perching on, as you can sit on them in any direction. This T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings slipper chair is in a Master Bedroom I designed in Brentwood.
A detail from "Heat" by Florine Stettheimer, 1919:
A cross between a hammock and a lounge chair this terrific piece is new, made by Blackman Cruz:
This 1950's Franco Albini (1905-1977) chair sits in a corner of our Living Room.
A rattan armchair circa 1910...the decorative back is like a drawing:
A vintage chair from our Living Room, found in Echo Park many years ago:
A Japanese bamboo chair circa 1941:
This is from the J.B. Blunk show at Blum & Poe. There's a catalog of his work they've just released in conjunction with Gerard O'Brien of Reform Gallery.
Robert Rauschenberg "Pilgrim", 1950:
David Hockney's painting "Three Chairs with a Section of a Picasso Mural", 1970:
Antelope Chairs and Table Designed by Ernest Race (1913-1964), featured at the Festival of Britain in 1951:
Admittedly a well known chair, but too good not to include! This is a Woodard Sculptura armchair. Look at it's shadow:
A Mexican chair from the 1950's, at Chic by Accident in Mexico City:
Saul Steinberg's chair drawings, from The Art of Living, 1945: