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The Art of Seating

Two Hundred Years of American Design

The Art of Seating

Photo by Michael Koryta and Andrew VanStyn, Director of Acquisitions, Conservation and Photography

Sling Seat Lounge Chair, c. 1935. Designed by Warren McArthur Jr. (1885–1961), manufactured by Warren McArthur Corp., Rome, NY. 

On view at LSU Museum of Art until June 6 is The Art of Seating: Two Hundred Years of American Design. This exhibition features a selection of over forty iconic and historic chairs reaching back from the mid-1800s to pieces from today’s studio movement. Drawn from the Jacobsen Collection of American Art, these chairs offer 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 exhibition also features contemporary and historic designs by some of the biggest manufacturers such as Knoll, Herman Miller, and Steelcase. Additions from the LSU Museum of Art permanent collection will expand the period of chair design even farther back in history to the eighteenth century. 

Most chairs encountered throughout the day define themselves fairly simply—a place at the family table, a comfortable spot with a great view of the river, a seat of corporate power. The Art of Seating provides audiences with a unique opportunity to see chair types that usually reside in private homes or offices, withheld from public display. Readily recognizable pieces appear alongside those rarely seen by the public. These works of art have compelling stories to tell about our national history, the evolution of American design, and incredible artistry and craftsmanship. 

The Art of Seating was developed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville and the Jacobsen Collection of American Art and is organized for tour by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. LSU Museum of Art thanks partner sponsors Donald J. Boutté 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 LSU Museum of Art Annual Exhibition Fund. 

For more information about exhibitions and upcoming programming visit lsumoa.org and follow the museum on Facebook and Instagram @lsumoa for additional updates.