Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the German pavilion and its interior furnishings for the Barcelona World Exposition of 1929. For the inaugural ceremony, Mies created two x-frame chairs, for use by the king and queen of Spain, based on ancient Egyptian and Greek folding chairs—a design recognized as a symbol of power in those two cultures. Although only two chairs were made for the pavilion, the design was considered so successful that the chair was immediately put into production. This rare example, from the first year of manufacture, was assembled with hand-secured screws and lap joints. The leather cushions were hand-tufted and stuffed with horsehair. In later production, the individual elements were welded together and the leather cushions had a much thinner profile. Except for a 16-year break, the Barcelona chair has been in continuous production since its original design.


Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Designer
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, German, 1886–1969
Manufacturer
Manufactured by Berliner Metallgewerbe Josef Müller, German, active 1930–unknown
Title
Chair, Model MR 90
Date
Designed 1929, manufactured 1930
Medium
Chromed steel and leather
Dimensions
28 3/4 × 29 1/8 × 29 15/16 in. (73 × 74 × 76 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by J. Brian and Varina Eby, by exchange

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
97.354
Classification
Furniture
Provenance

[Christie's, New York], purchased by MFAH, 1997.