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The Barrel Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright
The Barrel Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Barrel Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright

Photo courtesy of ModernClassics.com
The Arts and Crafts designers wanted unity. They believed that houses should harmonize with the landscape, and that furniture should coordinate with the houses. Frank Lloyd Wright said that that "Every chair must be designed for the building it will be in."

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.

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