Frederick Kiesler. Multi-use Chair. 1942

Frederick Kiesler Multi-use Chair 1942

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 519 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

"The seats were a kind of wave which curved down, surged up, and fell once more, thus forming an object without beginning or end," said Kiesler of his Multi-use Chairs, "and in its convex curves the body could take ease." Kiesler designed these chairs—constructed for seven dollars each in the Bronx—to fill the unconventional spaces he created for Peggy Guggenheim's The Art of this Century Gallery on 57th Street. The Surrealist-inspired "rest-forms" were meant to be versatile; Kiesler delineated eighteen uses for them, including seating and stands for the display of objects. Their organic shape demonstrates Kiesler's experimentation with "continuous tension."

Gallery label from Shaping Modernity: Design 1880-1980, December 23, 2009–July 25, 2010 .
Oak and linoleum
33 3/8 x 15 5/8 x 35" (84.8 x 39.7 x 88.9 cm)
Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. Purchase Fund
Object number
Architecture and Design

Installation views

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