designed 1942; modified c. 1946 by Hans G. Knoll Associates

designed by

Jens Risom

(American, 1916–1977)


Knoll Associates

(American, est. 1938)

Birch with cotton webbing

Overall: 78.7 x 44.5 x 50.8 cm (31 x 17 1/2 x 20 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Loughrey 2002.109



As a young designer, Jens Risom studied in Scandinavia. Reflective of that training, this chair introduced a new simplicity into American design in the 1940s. The chair was intended to be mass-produced and was created from standardized wooden parts that could be easily cut and assembled with minimal skill. Its upholstery is highly utilitarian, and the cotton webbing could be purchased at low cost from companies that supplied the U.S. Army with the material during and immediately after World War II (1939-1945). The recent German immigrant Hans G. Knoll produced Risom's design as the first chair in the line of his new furniture company. Based on successes like this chair, Knoll's firm grew into the international firm it is today.

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