The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design


The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design

February 9, 2019 - May 5, 2019
Curated by Ben Thompson, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville
  • Designed by Thomas E. Warren (active with American Chair Co. 1849-52). Manufactured by the American Chair Co. (1829-1858), Troy, NY. Centripetal Spring Arm Chair, c. 1850. Photo by Michael Koryta and Andrew VanStyn, Director of Acquisitions, Conservation and Photography.


The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Florida, presents a survey of exceptional American chair design from the early 19th century to the present day. The chair is experienced not only as a functional item, but as sculptural in view—the chair as art. Each of the more than 40 chairs in the exhibition was chosen for its beauty and historical context with important social, economic, political and cultural influences. Selections from the Jacobsen Collection of American Art are joined by contemporary designs offering a stylistic journey in furniture with showstoppers by John Henry Belter, George Hunzinger, Herter Brothers, Stickley Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, and Frank Gehry, among others.

The Art of Seating provides audiences with a unique opportunity to see chair types that usually reside in private homes, withheld from public display. The American Chair Collection, the center of this exhibition, is an amazing and comprehensive private collection of iconic and historic chairs reaching back from the mid-1800s to pieces from today’s studio movement.The exhibition provides an opportunity to see readily recognizable pieces alongside those rarely seen by the public.

The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design is generously supported by Visit Bucks County and Tom and Alycia Scannapieco. Additional support is provided by Barbara Donnelly Bentivoglio and Dr. Lamberto Bentivoglio, EwingCole, and Jane M. Yeuroukis, Inc., Interior Designs.

The Art of Seating is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, in collaboration with the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.


Related Events

Members-Only Reception

February 8@5:00 pm - 7:00 pm EST

Curator Lecture: The Art of Seating

February 9@2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST

Take a Seat

February 28@2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on April 11, 2019 at 2:00pm

The Global Influence on American Design

April 2@1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Who Gets to Call it Art?

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Chair Design

April 9@1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT