The collection
Armchair with a frame made of a continuous piece of curving tubular steel and the seat and back made from a piece of fabric suspended between two bars.


Designed by
Philip Johnson (1906–2005) and Alfred Clauss (1906–1998)
Chromium-plated tubular steel, canvas
Produced by
Unknown, New York, New York
63.5 x 52.5 x 73.7 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Victoria Barr from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred H. Barr, Jr.,* D88.143.1

This armchair was innovative in its cantilevered form, supported only at one end and making the sitter appear to float in mid-air. Tubular-steel furniture was developed by architects in Europe in the 1920s, then adapted or copied by North American designers.

Johnson and German-émigré Clauss co-designed the armchair, which was inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s 1927 tubular steel MR chair. Like the MR design, this cantilevered chair is a continuous structure of tubular steel, characteristic of the machine aesthetic pursued by the Bauhaus and promoted by MoMA.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Denis Farley.