R M Schindler's chairs

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SDR
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R M Schindler's chairs

Post by SDR »

While we have an ongoing thread devoted to Wright's chairs, I thought it might be appropriate to continue discussion of Schindler's chairs on their
own. As we get into Wright's Usonian-era plywood seating, we can cross-link the two threads as seems appropriate.

I have skipped Schindler's earliest furniture, as found in his own King's Road home and at Wolfe (Catalina Island) and the Lovell Beach House (for
instance) for the time being; I hope at least to be able to link images of these pieces.

For now, here are some plywood pieces dating from 1934 to 1950.

Image Shep, 1934-5

Image
This page from March and Scheine, "R M Schindler: Composition and Construction" (Academy; 1993) shows (A) chairs for Dr L Bigelman, c. 1940;
(B) house for Miss E Van Patten, 1934-5; (C) dining chair, 1942; and (D) furniture for S Freeman house, 1927

Image Walker, 1935-6

Image Walker -- note similarity to Bigelman and Van Patten, above

Image McAlmon, 1935-6

Image Westby, 1938

Image Druckman, 1941

Image
Beata Inaya, 1948 -- another version of this http://www.architonic.com/mus/gal/4107594 [thanks, peterm]

Image
drawings from March and Scheine [ibid] -- (D) dining chair for Lechner house, 1948; (E) folding chair, undated [see Gordon, below]

Image Lechner, 1948

Image Gordon, 1950

Image Skolnik, 1950

peterm
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Post by peterm »

thanks sdr- you got the good ones.

the gordon house chairs are masterpieces. i saw one of these in person, and to see how thin this becomes when folded up is amazing.

the van patten chairs are the ones i was referring to on the other thread. this is really quite early, 1934, and i can't find a wright plywood chair from that time period.

notice with schindler, there are no legs, only a pedestal or base. this is quite comfortable; no leg hitting your shin...but, without carpeting, scratching up the hardwood floors, with carpeting, maybe leaving funny indentations in the pile.

also, schindler rakes the back at a greater angle than wright, and he never uses the straight back design.

no decorative perfs, but the holes cut to make the gordon chair function are visually interesting.

peterm
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Post by peterm »


SDR
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Post by SDR »

The central spine is something that Schindler explored extensively, as you say. I don't think we find this in Wright at all.
Am I forgetting something ?

Note the use of carpet or other flooring on the base of the Bigelman, Van Patten and Walker chairs and tables. A legend to that effect can be seen
on the Bigelman drawing. This was no doubt intended to make the base disappear -- like something from a Star Trek set ? -- and perhaps to
afford protection to the base, as well.

Here are a chair and table from the Wolfe residence of Schindler, Avalon (Catalina Island), 1928-29. The center-spine theme can be seen here;
the chair has a box pedestal shaft, a superior structural choice, in wood.

Image

Image

Image exploded view of table, from March and Scheine

SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

looking at the exploded view, the wolfe table breaks the box as much, if not more than wright.

and yes, the wolfe is a rare straightback chair from schindler.

sad that this magnificent house by schindler was razed.

as an idea, the carpeting is understandable, but slightly dishonest, and something about the patina of old cigarette smoke carpeting doesn't stand the test of time. i think he discontinued this.

and no, i can't think of an example of wright exploring the central spine in his furniture designs. anyone?

SDR
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Post by SDR »

There aren't any concessions to comfort in the Wolfe chair, are there.


There are photos of the Beata Inaya chair with seat cushion, at the Daugherty residence, 1945-6.


SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

SDR wrote:There aren't any concessions to comfort in the Wolfe chair, are there
SDR
wolfe is early (1928-29) i guess rms was still under the master's spell.

peterm
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Post by peterm »

SDR wrote:The central spine is something that Schindler explored extensively, as you say. I don't think we find this in Wright at all.
Am I forgetting something ?
SDR
just noticed this courtesy of mobius:

http://4sure.co.nz/gw/goetsch-winkler-EL35.jpg

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Interesting. I have these photos of a Goetsch/Winckler chair, ottoman and interior. The table is recognizable -- but the chair leg is different from the photo you have.

Image

Image

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Here's an example of a Wright center-panel design: the little table from the NCY Exhibition House of 1953:

Image

Image

No, I don't believe for a moment that Wright "copied" a Schindler idea; if you play with orthogonal "organic"
form long enough you will arrive at these objects almost inevitably. I have done so myself, more than once. . .

SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

the more one sees the work of these two giants, it becomes easier to conclude that there was a dialogue between their designs for three decades. i think wright followed schindler's work closely, and it goes without saying that schindler was aware of wright's every move. the usonian exhibition table is a case in point.

also rms from the 30s:

http://www.architonic.com/mus/gal/4107586

both minds were too deep to copy, but i do not believe in the notion of the isolated genius who creates in a vacuum. even wright had his influences...

SDR
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Post by SDR »

I think, from what I have learned so far, that it remains to be proved how much either architect sought to learn what the other was up to. In the
absence of proof -- which I assume would require research into what was published when, and the likelihood of each man seeing those publications,
and/or the travels of each to the work of the other -- I prefer to believe that, as I said, certain forms are all but inevitable when a given mind is at
work on a problem. I just believe that these two men had a lot in common in their thinking about form and material. Thus, the differences
are more interesting to me than the similarities.

Why I prefer to believe this is open to question. As a designer I happen to feel a strong affinity to the forms both men explored, and am probably
hoping that I too would be accorded credit as an original thinker -- and so wish to credit these two with their independence, in turn ?

Given all this, of course it is still vitally interesting to see what they did, and to speculate about the all-too-obvious possibilities of mutual inter-dependence.

Because RMS sought out Wright from the beginning, and adopted some of his ideas whole (the pattern of wood window-glazing found at Taliesin, for
instance), it would indeed be foolish to deny some cross-pollination. Many Wright-lovers may wish to deny any reverse influence -- which I do not.

SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

an assortment of schindler furniture designs: chairs, hassocks, tables, stools, desks, and cabinets. all are from the 30's to 40's from several los angeles commissions, dr. basia gingold offices and home, the van patten house, and the sachs apartments:

http://www.architonic.com/mus/8101147/1

could it be that hygiene was a concern, some of the medical offices pieces having been painted? i am not sure if they were intended to be painted or not.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Thanks. Is there any additional information offered for these pieces, such as date, client and material -- or am I not seeing it. The last page has the only information of this kind.

Prices, we got !


SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

there was a catalogue which accompanied the december 2006 auction which is now for sale as a book:

http://www.stoutbooks.com/cgi-bin/stout ... 76182.html

the materials are solid pine, douglas fir, douglas fir plywood, some painted and some with his signature stain. a few of the pieces have upholstery and it is a strange sickly green vinyl (naugahyde?).

the most spectacular piece is the cantilevered desk, other pieces are deceptively simple, stools with pinwheel bases. i had forgotten how often schindler used circular forms in his furniture, even if the architecture itself was rectilinear.

the van patten house pieces are the ones previously posted, and the white painted pieces are from the doctor's offices. some of the decoish green pieces are from the sachs apartments. most of the stained pieces are from basia gingold's residence.

she was a leftist jewess, born in warsaw, fled the nazis and later lived with the mexican sculptor mathias goeritz. this intersection of politics and art was often the norm for an ideal rm schindler client.

"Commissioned between 1937 and 1951 by Dr. Basia Gingold, a German-Jewish emigre to Los Angeles, these works of Schindler's were unknown until Gingold's death in 2006 at 103 years old. Considering furniture a kind of micro-architecture, Schindler brought his vocabulary of building design into the scaled-down world of furniture-making. This impeccably designed book includes blueprints and sketches, photos of the furniture from multiple angles, large fold-out photos, and essays that shed further light on Schindler, Gingold, and the fruits of their relationship."

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