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Object Timeline

1939

  • Work on this object began.

1997

  • We acquired this object.

2001

2012

2015

2017

  • You found it!

Lounge Chair (USA), 1939

This is a Lounge chair. It was designed by Henrik Van Keppel and Taylor Green and manufactured by Van Keppel-Green. It is dated 1939 and we acquired it in 1997. Its medium is enameled bent tubular steel, cotton cord. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Van Keppel–Green, the midcentury interior design firm and retail establishment of Hendrik Van Keppel and Taylor Green, pioneered indoor/outdoor furniture, leaving a lasting effect on the “California modern” style. Van Keppel began experiments with wrapping marine cord around scrap iron—which he had a blacksmith fabricate—in San Francisco in the 1930s. By 1938, he and Taylor opened an interior design office together in Los Angeles, followed by a custom-designed furniture store the following year. After the Second World War, VKG began commercially producing their designs, marketing them for indoor/outdoor living—a term the firm coined. The lounge chair’s steel base and cotton-wrapped upholstery could be used both indoors and out, and its elegant shape suited a modern living room or terrace alike. When pieces from this furniture suite were used in the famous Case Study Houses of the 1940s—including Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House, where this lounge chair is showcased in photographs—the pieces became icons of midcentury modern design.

This object was donated by Donald D. Powell and Powell & Kleinschmidt. It is credited Gift of Powell/Kleinschmidt.

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

  • Vermelha Chair, 2007
  • bent epoxy-coated steel, hand woven dyed cotton rope, aluminum.
  • Gift of Edra SpA, Italy.
  • 2007-39-1
  • Long Chair (Estonia), 1936
  • bent birch (frame), bent and molded birch-faced plywood (seat).
  • Museum purchase through gift of George R. Kravis II, Anonymous Donor, and....
  • 2013-17-1

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 52.3 x 53 x 87.2cm (20 9/16 x 20 7/8 x 34 5/16in.)

Cite this object as

Lounge Chair (USA), 1939; Designed by Henrik Van Keppel and Taylor Green; enameled bent tubular steel, cotton cord; H x W x D: 52.3 x 53 x 87.2cm (20 9/16 x 20 7/8 x 34 5/16in.); Gift of Powell/Kleinschmidt; 1997-111-1

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18654615/ |title=Lounge Chair (USA), 1939 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 September 2017 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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