Modernists Abroad

Deutscher Werkbund Exhibition, Grand Palais; Paris, France

In Paris, Alfred Barr and Philip Johnson visited the Grand Palais in June 1930 to see the Deutscher Werkbund exhibition. They were captivated by an installation and furniture designs by former Bauhaus Masters. It included Marcel Breuer’s B32 side chair, seen here, at the far left of an exhibition installation photo, and again below. Johnson purchased furniture as a wedding gift for the recently married Barrs.

He wrote to his mother: “The German show of furniture here is so wonderful that I am importing a whole set of it.” Even Barr said the Bauhaus design exhibition was more exciting than the exhibition of modern painting.

© Estate of Herbert Bayer / SOCAN (2019).

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The collection
Cantilevered chair with a tubular steel frame and woven cane seat and back.
Designed by
Marcel Breuer (1902–1981)
Chromium-plated steel, beech, cane
Produced by
Gebrüder Thonet, Frankenberg, Germany
81.3 x 45.7 x 54.3 cm