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I'm sure it will be lovely when finshed. (If you're fixed on having a natural wood appearance, this chair could be veneered far more efficiently than almost any chair I've seen.)
I like the idea of veneer. I had not considered that. I also suspect that the chair was always painted. I was told from the person I bought it from that they purchased it a few years ago from Rago. That is about all I know. I really like the back and the potential to form the back cushions in the same V V shape.
I can't "read" the stick (?) at the far rear in the side photo -- is it parallel with the floor or is it vertical ?
The V shape of the seat is interesting -- I'm trying to imagine how one sits in this chair. Is the rear slope of the seat actually a lumbar support ?
If it was sold in a David Rago auction, there should be a record of it there. If you sent them a photo of the chair as you bought it, they should recognize it, and tell you what they know of its history.
1. The front things that stick out from the seat area are all wrong
2. The front "legs" are not right
3. There's some sort of strange piece of wood on the rear
4. The lack of hiding joints with veneer, cheap plywood etc
It just looks a little weird.
We are not trying to determine if it is original. We are trying to determine the best way to finish and upholster.
The back spine is vertical It is closer to the end of the foot than others as a result of the back being pushed to the rear in the V.
I am not worried about the weirdness! I think the unique V back is a great interpretation.
The back is sloped to the foot so it does sort of serve as a lumbar support.
This piece also appears to be the same one that SDR posted on the first page of this thread, labed "Undated Origami (Balthazar Korab photo, "50 Favorite Furnishings by FLlW," Diane Maddex, Archetype, 1999)". If you look at the right arm of the chair in each photo, the same "ding/mark" appears near the front outside corner (though in trying to make an exact visual match, it's tough to see the protective 'front feet coverings' in the Korab photo that are obvious in the above Hanks photo).
In looking at the Thomas Heinz book, "Frank Lloyd Wright: Interiors and Furniture" (pg 199), he shows a photo of an Origami Chair at the Sturgess House (1939) and states that "(t)his appears to be the earliest of the 'folded' plywood chairs.".
In the same book Heinz also shows a pair of Origami Chairs with fretwork cut-out designs from Taliesen III (WI) in which he states, "(t)hese are the more elegant developments of the ones built for the Sturgess House (3905). The cut outs in the rear web and the ends of the arm are carry-overs of the cut fretwork grilles used on the windows of many of the Usonian Houses.".
He's implying, therefore, that these are later-in-date, more refined Origami Chair designs than Sturgess (1939). Yet the first picture that SDR posted shows the same 'fretwork-style' Origami Chairs (with differing fabric; Taliesin West) and Diane Maddex stating they are dated 1937.
So it appears there are three 'earliest' dates: fretwork, Taliesin West - 1937; Sturgess - 1939; prototype, Taliesin West - 1946.
Has anyone made a definative heads-or-tails of this Origami conundrum???
SDR - Stephen, thank you for your inspiration via all the wonderful pictures and source material you post, as well as the lessons on how to do so. I've become inspired to 'give it a whirl'!
edit=moved picture files
I don't see the point of discussing art and design without the necessary visual references. I'm certainly enjoying my part in the process. I'll keep going 'til I run out of room in my iPhoto cache -- AT&T seems to have no storage limit in their (my) Small Business Web Hosting facility.
Welcome to the party! As to the kinds of questions you raise above, I believe there are plenty more where that came from. Let's keep digging. . .
Yeah, thanks. The first photo posted by SDR ... the B & W ... is the chair I found in my room at Hillside, during my first full summer at Taliesin ... 1967.DavidC wrote:Bringing back the Origami Chair thread post-outage. David
It was still upholstered as shown in the photo, though by then the cloth had become completely threadbare, so I went to Spring Green and found (barely enough) cloth of somewhat similar design to re-upholster the chair. As a friend was coming the next day, I worked at that task through the night, getting only about two hours sleep before the Breakfast Gong sounded.
I loved that chair, despite the fact that if you weren't careful, it would tip over on top of you, whenever you tried to stand up.
Mr. Wright later attached a small, triangular wooden "kick stand" to later versions of the chair, to prevent guests unaware of the danger from being hurt.
The next year, when I was moved to a room at Taliesin, the chair went with me. If I'm correct, it's now in a museum setting, somewhere. At JWax?