Page 2 of 3

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:28 am
by Jeff Myers
Would anyone have a photo of the post with the perf on Affleck?
Thanks SAR.
I actually believe the perf is the same as the G-W chair in question. If you look at the lighting it showing that the shape is on the same side. This I noted in what I witnessed in the photo.

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:26 am
by SDR
Photos taken in the last few years of Affleck and Goetsch-Winckler by Alan Weintraub (like the G-W interior shown previously, above) reveal some furniture also in place in earlier photos.

Image Affleck

Image Goetsch-Winckler

Note two versions of the dining or side chair, one with a vertical front leg and the other with the canted leg.

This early interior, on the other hand, shows only tables by Wright, with many non-Wright seating pieces. . .


Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:31 am
by SDR
Jeff, the top of the perf figure is sloped in one direction on both Affleck objects, and the other way on the chair which was published in the Goetsch-Winckler book. The other features are also reversed, as described in my post on the previous page.


Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:15 am
by Palli Davis Holubar
interesting...Jeff, this is the kind of careful looking that moves study along. That issue of the Arch. Forum is rich.
The chair is from Goetsch-Winkler: the G-W Details building sheet #5 (Archives # 3907.11 & plate 17 in Affordable Dreams) shows the perf on the front leg but it does not depict the perf unit drawing.

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:32 am
by Jeff Myers
I spent a good hour after lunch reading Arch Forum 1948. Next week,if I can find time, read the 1938 Arch. Record I found at work a very valuable piece.

There are plan for Jester and the Pottery House. It is very rich and sadly only one has a Perf and the Pope house has the perfs showing in one photo and I just awed at it.

I can't wait to read the 1938 Arch. Record

Thanks Palli. Maybe the Chair was Built at Affleck and G-W. Just thought the interesting thing was 1938 G-W and 1940 Affleck both in MI, the perf is the same or similar. Maybe the G-W chair was a later addition by an owner.

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:31 pm
by SDR
Palli asserts that in fact the chair photographed for Affordable Dreams is indeed from the G-W house, and points us to the millwork sheet, which shows a decoration to the front leg of the dining chair. The "studio [lounge] chair" with its canted front leg is not shown in front elevation on the sheet, but it is the only one we have seen a photo of, showing a perforation. The Affleck chair is also a "studio chair."

On the drawing, the decoration (a perforation ?) might be a variant of the one we have seen in photos, but (if anything) presented upside-down -- as I see it.


Image detail

Image detail

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:47 pm
by SDR
Mr Wright really did not have a consistently sound understanding of chair comfort, in my opinion. Once again we see a dining chair with a dead-flat seat combined with an excessively sloped back. The included angle between seat and back in this kind of chair, intended for an upright "alert" posture, should be between 90 and 95 degrees. Here it is more like 105 degrees -- and with a seat not pitched at all against gravity, the sitter who attempts to relax against the seat back will inevitably find his bottom sliding forward toward the floor, restrained (uncomfortably) only by the friction of his clothing and the cushion (if present) against the plywood seat.

In every case where we have photographic evidence, this dining chair has a flat seat, while the lounge ("studio") chair which accompanies it has what appears to be a comfortable seating posture. These chairs are found (in no particular order) at G-W, Sturges, Sondern, Rosenbaum, Wall, Baird, Affleck, and Stevens -- at least.


Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:19 pm
by peterm
In my experience with the flat seat, the most important factor becomes the cushion. A relatively thick and somewhat firm one can change that angle by supporting the leg around the knee area. Also, the height of the seat itself becomes a huge factor. It actually becomes more comfortable the lower one sits, helping to lift the knees a bit. Wright's chairs are low to the ground, and this helps.

Without a cushion, that angle becomes very difficult. It seems that one keeps sliding down under the table...

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:34 pm
by SDR
Thank you. That all sounds right to me.

Anyone designing a chair, or building one of his own or another's design, would be foolish to proceed without devising a test mule to affirm, and adjust as necessary, the heights and angles of the seat and back surfaces.

A friend of mine made a lounging chair years ago -- a narrow cube with ample cushioning -- in which the seat and back both took a 20 or 25-degree angle from the horizontal and the vertical, respectively. The chair was remarkably comfortable. The sides were simple planes of plywood, dressed on three edges with standard handrail stock. . .


Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:40 pm
by Roderick Grant
In 1986, Elizabeth Halstead attended the first Homeowners' Conference (predecessor of FLWBC) at Barnsdall. At the time, she owned G/W. It was not long afterward that she sold it. The "Old-House Journal" article on the restoration of G/W was published May/June 1990. She did not own it at that time.

SDR, to some extent (unavoidably, since we are all products of our own time), FLW was a Victorian. In his day, it was appropriate to sit up straight at the dining table, not touching the back of the chair, crossing legs, or any such admission to human frailty. Dining was a formal event, and comfort was not considered. Presumably one would be as comfortable sitting on a stool as on a chair, so the angle of the back of a dining room chair, or its composition was irrelevant as to comfort, leaving him to design freely for the sake of the art. His tall-back slatted chairs are as difficult to relax in as the G/W chairs. Even his three-legged chairs, which caused the Hannas such consternation, would, by his logic, actually be five-legged and stable if one sat up to the table properly. Somewhere along the way in the early 20th Century, humans seemed to have discovered that the spine can bend, even at the dining table.

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:42 pm
by peterm
Here is a photo of the dining table and chairs which I designed and built for our house (about five years ago, before we purchased Lamberson...) in Altadena. I first started with a prototype of a flat seat chair, but didn't want the thick cushion, and by trial and error found this angle to be relatively comfortable. (I have no idea what the angle is...)

scroll to #1610_09 ... perty-1610#

The lower shelf of the table makes a nice foot rest, also helping the comfort factor.

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:54 pm
by Palli Davis Holubar
Oh, I am sorry about conflating the two different chairs. SDR is correct the chair with a perf indicated is the dining chair: my assertion is not correct. Regarding enlarged image of the perf on the dining chair: the sketchiness of perfs on elevation and furniture drawings is common and the idea of accidently drawing it upside down not impossible.

Here is the description for the chair on file at the Museum:

Wright, Frank Lloyd
American, 1867-1959
Designed by
Studio Chair, from the Goetsch-Winkler House, Okemos, Michigan
Redwood stain over plywood
29-1/4 x 26-1/2 x 27-1/4 inches

Gift of Elizabeth Halsted
Until 1979, residents of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Goetsch-Winckler house in Okemos used this plywood chair and stool. Wright included the chair design in blueprints and drawings for the house, although the decorative cut-out detail on the leg was undoubtedly a flourish added by artists Alma Goetsch and Katherine Winckler, the homeowners. Wright’s attitude towards designing chairs was “something between contempt and desperation,� as he once wrote, he also thought that sitting was “an unfortunate necessity.� The stool, one of several used around the dining room table, was not specified in the drawings, but it is a common type found often in Wright’s Usonian houses. The Goetsch-Winckler house of 1939-40 is a superb example of Usonian architecture, that is, affordable housing for people of moderate income. The flat roof, gravity heat and modular construction are hallmarks of this style from Wright’s later career, as is the functional furniture designed for the home. The Goetsch-Winckler house was originally part of a larger project of seven homes designed by Wright to be built off Mount Hope Road for MSU faculty members. When funding for this utopian community was not forthcoming, Goetsch and Winckler pooled their resources and built their home on another site. As art educators and members of the Art Department at MSU, Goetsch and Winckler’s contributions were not only to the generations of students they mentored, but as hostesses and caretakers of mid-Michigan’s most significant example of domestic architecture.

Note the description comments about the perf: is this an acknowledgement that the perf is not on the furniture drawing? The mention of the flourish added by the client artists opens up a fresh kettle of fish since the perf is similar to the Affleck small post and furniture perf.

I have tried to read the note aside the studio chair drawing: (while I want the 11 letter word and following words to read: "perforations front and back") I don't think it does. Can anyone make it out?

I offer this observation/supposition: Why wood a dining chair that is usually pushed into a table have a perf and the studio chair (an exposed chair) not have a perf?

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:00 pm
by Jeff Myers
Peter: Wonderful design and wonderful home as well.

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:17 pm
by peterm
Palli- All that I can read is from the third and fourth line: ".......front and back elevations....."

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:40 pm
by SDR
I believe it reads

Except for chang-
ed proportions
front and back
elevations same
as shown for
dining chair

This would explain perfectly the absence of front or rear elevations for the "studio chair." "Front and back elevations same" would presumably include the perforation. . .