The "Barrel Chair" by Frank Lloyd Wright was designed in 1937 for Herbert Johnson's house, Wingspread. Made of natural cheerywood with an upholstered leather seat, the chair was a reworking of a design Wright created in 1904.
Wright saw the chair as an architectural challenge. He used tall straight chairs as a screen around tables. The simple shapes of his furniture permitted machine production, making the designs affordable. Indeed, Wright believed that machines could actually enhance the designs.
"The machine has liberated the beauties of nature in wood," Wright told the Arts and Crafts Society in a 1901 lecture. "...With the exception of the Japanese, wood has been misused and mishandled everywhere," Wright said.