What is more comfortable than a Womb Chair? Cradling you in a curved cloud of support, all stress and daily inconveniences melt away. The Womb Chair was designed by Eero Saarinen, while working for Knoll & Associates, when Florence Knoll placed a request for a chair that she could sink down into and enjoy a good book. In 1948, Saarinen completed Knoll’s request which she later dubbed “the curling chair”.
Conflicting stories about the origin of the name Womb Chair have been widely documented. Eero Saarinen stated that “its unofficial name is the Womb Chair because it was designed on the theory that a great number of people have never really felt comfortable and secure since they left the womb.” However, many people believe that this statement was made in jest. Christina Blake Oliver of interior design firm Oliver Interiors shared another possible origin with sZinteriors. Oliver says that her mother and father were close friend’s of the Saarinen’s. When her mother was enormously pregnant, she happened to be sitting in an early design of the chair when Saarinen was struck by the unlikely name Womb Chair. Despite the mystery shrouding the name, we can all agree that it certainly reflects many of the distinct characteristics of such a comfortable chair.
The distinct shape of the Womb Chair is the harvest of Saarinen’s numerous experiments using round pod-like seats in furniture design. One of his main goals of the design was to allow people to relax in several distinctive, yet comfortable positions. The Womb Chair exceeded all expectations for a comfortable chair and resulted in a modern chair perfectly suited for the increasingly relaxed modern society.
For more information on a top quality reproduction of this one-of-a-kind modern iconic chair, including available colors and pricing, please click here.
Eero Saarinen in his iconic design.
In a small Kentucky town, Paul Rudolph was born to a nomadic Methodist preacher in 1918. His unique childhood was spent traveling the American south from church to church. The charm of these pious concrete structures and other regional landmarks inspired Rudolph to earn a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Auburn University. His serendipitous meeting with Walter Gropius, the founder of Bauhaus, while pursuing his master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design would help shape his bright future as an architectural visionary.
Orange Country Government Center in Goshen, New York.
After attaining his master’s, Paul Rudolph partnered with Ralph Twitchell in Florida and became a kingpin of the “Sarasota School”. This style of architecture focused on a clean contemporary floor plan and highlighted natural light, sweeping overhangs, and flat roofs. In 1958, Rudolph completed the Art and Architecture Building at Yale University. While there he felt a strong desire to share his passion and he became Dean at the Yale School of Architecture. After six years of inspiring a new generation of builders, Rudolph relocated to New York. He continued to focus all of his attention on the controversial Brutalist style. Brutalist architecture was inspired by the modernist movement. These buildings tend to be extremely linear, square, and feature predominantly concrete.
Yale Art and Architecture Building.
Despite being idolized by his peers, the public found many of his larger brutalist designs to be “brutal indeed” and criticized the abundance of concrete and steel. When Paul Rudolph passed away in 1997, his obituary in the New York Times said, “With the exception of Louis I. Kahn, no American architect of his generation enjoyed higher esteem in the 1960’s. But after 1970, his reputation plummeted. Many of his buildings are being torn down, or are in danger of being torn down. Mr. Rudolph leaves behind a perplexing legacy that will take many years to untangle.” However; a little over 15 years later, the unique appeal of Paul Rudolph’s brutalist designs is reaching new audiences who are embracing the incredible buildings with open arms.
Paul Rudolph’s 1961 Miami home.
The accessibility of art to all classes of society is an important subject amid a frightening landscape of budget cuts. One of the core beliefs of the Bauhaus movement suggested that art should strive to meet the demands of every member of society (from doctor to janitor) and that there should be no division between form and function. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring were two artists who insisted on working in environments that would share their creative talents with everyone. Subway stations, city streets and abandoned industrial warehouses all were cloaked in the beauty of their work. From teenage graffiti artists in New York City, to highly acclaimed painters, both men helped to usher in a new style of artist who conveys the electrifying pulse of large metropolitan areas through their inspiring work.
Jean-Michel Basquiat added his distinctive creative voice to both the Neo-expressionism and the Contemporary art genres. Note how he walks a fine line between radical spontaneity and restricted control in the three examples below. Many of Basquiat’s works contain a captivating political message such as poverty versus wealth, or the surprising similarities between the Atlantic slave trade and the Egyptian slave trade.
Keith Haring is known for his vibrant contributions to both the Pop art and the Contemporary art genres. The graffiti influences of his teen years stand out in the colorfully bold cartoon figures seen below. Haring enjoyed conveying the importance of life and unity through his work, and later in his career, also included socio-political themes, such as anti-Apartheid and AIDS awareness. The painting, “Andy Mouse”, is a playful representation of his own friendship with renowned artist Andy Warhol.
Mid-Century modern furniture reflects the dreams of Gropius and many of the Bauhaus era to provide a functional, affordable and consistent product that reunites both arts and crafts in an artistic form that any socioeconomic class can enjoy. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring shared their creative genius with the public in a similar generous manner and should be celebrated for their impact on keeping the joy of art free.