Modernists Abroad

German Building Exhibition; Berlin, Germany

Mies van der Rohe served as the artistic director for the 1931 exhibition The Dwelling in Our Time. Philip Johnson visited the exhibition and wrote of Mies’s contribution, a house for a childless couple:

“Ornament is absent in the Mies house, nor is any needed. . . . The essential beauty of the house lies in handling the walls as planes and not as supporting elements. Mies has so placed these planes that space seems to open up in every direction, giving the feeling of openness that, perhaps, more than anything else, is the prime characteristic of modern architecture.”

Mies’s Barcelona chair, with its crisscrossing legs, is seen in the foreground of the exhibition photo at right and also below.

© Estate of Lüdwig Mies Van der Rohe / SOCAN (2019).

Watch the video
The collection
Strap-steel-framed chair with crisscrossing legs and tan leather-covered cushions.
Designed by
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969)
Stainless-steel, horsehair, leather
Produced by
Knoll International, New York, New York
78.5 x 74 x 76 cm

© Estate of Lüdwig Mies Van der Rohe / SOCAN (2019).