The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design


The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design provides audiences with a unique opportunity to see chair types that usually reside in private homes, withheld from public display. The American Chair Collection is a 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. 

Selections from the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation offer a stylistic journey in furniture with showstoppers by John Henry Belter, George Hunzinger, the Herter Brothers, the Stickley Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, Frank Gehry and others waiting to be discovered. The exhibition also features contemporary and historic designs by some of the biggest manufacturers such as Knoll, Herman Miller and Steelcase. Curated by Ben Thompson, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, The Art of Seating takes the viewer into the design studio through patent drawings, documented upholstery, artist renderings and multimedia presentations. 

Most chairs encountered throughout the day define themselves fairly simply鈥攁 place at the family table, a comfortable spot with a great view of the river, a seat of corporate power. When looking at the 43 chairs selected for The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design, however, there is much more to see than simple pieces of furniture. Perhaps the most illustrious piece of history in this collection is that of the House of Representatives Chamber Arm Chair from 1857. Designed by Thomas U. Walter, Architect of the Capitol from 1851 to 1865, the House of Representatives chairs were created to be used in the halls of Congress and were showcased in portraits of political leaders such as Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. A later design by David Wolcott Kendall, deemed by his peers as 鈥淭he Dean of American Furniture Design,鈥 was presented to William McKinley during his term in the White House and has become known as the 鈥淢cKinley鈥 arm chair. Developed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville and organized for tour by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C, these works of art have compelling stories to tell about our national history, the evolution of American design and incredible artistry and craftsmanship. 

Chairs from the LSU Museum of Art permanent collection will expand the period of chair design even farther back in history to the 18th century鈥檚 Rococo and Baroque designs. 

ON VIEW AT 澳门六合彩开奖直播: March 11 鈥 June 6, 2021

Curated for LSUMOA by Courtney Taylor

澳门六合彩开奖直播 Installation

Local Designer Damien Mitchell鈥檚 Two Position Chair at 澳门六合彩开奖直播

澳门六合彩开奖直播 collaborated with Baton Rouge, LA designer Damien Mitchell to display his Two-Position Chair in the 澳门六合彩开奖直播 lobby to bring a local element to The Art of Seating exhibition. Damien grew up in Acadiana with a knack for making things, which later developed into a passion for art and design. After graduating from the University of Louisiana with a degree in Industrial Design, he began to specialize in leather and textiles but experiments with other materials as well. Mitchell says, "My value of craft and functionality outweigh the convenience of fast / mass production. The reason I do it myself, is simply because I enjoy it."

On making Two-Position Chair (pictured), Mitchell says:

Watch Now 澳门六合彩开奖直播 Artist Talk with Damien Mitchell

鈥淭he making of this chair was a design challenge. I challenged myself to work at a larger scale than usual. I also challenged myself to work with new materials while practicing new skills. I wanted to create something refreshing at a time when I felt trapped making the same old things. My overall goal was to create something simple and functional, while maintaining a sense of playfulness.鈥

Learn more about the designer on Instagram:

Exhibition Lenders & Sponsors

LSU Museum of Art thanks Partner Sponsor, Donald J. Boutt茅 and Michael D. Robinson, and Presenting Sponsor, Taylor Porter Attorneys At Law, for sponsoring this exhibition. Additional support is provided by generous donors to the 澳门六合彩开奖直播 Annual Exhibition Fund: Louisiana CAT; The Imo N. Brown Memorial Fund in memory of Heidel Brown and Mary Ann Brown; The Alma Lee, H.N., and Cary Saurage Fund; LSU College of Art + Design; Mr. and Mrs. Sanford A. Arst; and The Newton B. Thomas Family/Newtron Group Fund.

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.

Programming sponsored by Louisiana CAT.

Art of Seating Sponsors

Fold-a-Chair Design Challenge with LSU School of Interior Design & Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge

澳门六合彩开奖直播 stopped by the LSU School of Interior Design for a fun Fold-a-Chair Design Challenge! The theme was to use a chair template by designer Eleanor Campbell Richards as the base to create their own unique chair designs. 60 students paired up into teams of 2 to make their own chair creations using collage, fabric, string, cardboard, and more! The chairs were lined up and critiqued by the amazing LSU Interior Design Faculty. Click through these photos to see this fun design challenge inspired by The Art of Seating exhibition at 澳门六合彩开奖直播.

澳门六合彩开奖直播 also had a lot of fun with Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge鈥檚 Artsplosion Kids Camp! Campers learned and discussed chairs from 澳门六合彩开奖直播's current exhibition The Art of Seating with 澳门六合彩开奖直播 Educator Grant Benoit, designed a chair drawing inspired by Louisiana, and then decorated their own fold-a-chair for their own mini-museum exhibitions. Check out what they created!

Join in the fun and create your own chair! Download the template today.

Upcoming Lectures and Programs

Watch Virtual Programs

Virtual Gallery Talk for The Art of Seating with 澳门六合彩开奖直播 Curator Courtney Taylor and Dr. Bridget May, Instructor with LSU School of Interior Design and Professor Emerita of Marymount University in Arlington, VA.

Virtual Sit & Learn Series Part 1: Contemporary Makers / 澳门六合彩开奖直播 Educator Grant Benoit in conversation with contemporary makers Eleanor Campbell Richards and Aspen Golann on their chair designs and studio practices.

Virtual Sit & Learn Series Part II: My Favorite Chair/ 澳门六合彩开奖直播 Educator Grant Benoit talks with local designers and collectors about their favorite chairs and furniture, and their process of collecting and creating spaces.

Virtual Sit & Learn Series Part III: Designer Studio Visit / 澳门六合彩开奖直播 Educator Grant Benoit talks with local designer Damien Mitchell about his creative process and Two Position Chair on view at 澳门六合彩开奖直播

Past Events