The collection
Black chair with nylon mesh upholstery stretched between the two continuous bars of the tubular-steel frame.

Lounge Chair

Designed by
Davis J. Pratt (1917–1987) and Harold Cohen (born 1925)
Tubular steel, nylon mesh
Produced by
Designers in Production, Chicago, Illinois
73.5 x 50.9 x 77.1 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Shan Sullivan, 2001.88

Both Pratt and Cohen studied at László Moholy-Nagy’s School of Design in Chicago, a center for teaching Bauhaus principles, and both taught at the renamed Institute of Design in the late 1940s. In place of traditional spring-and-pad upholstery, they attempted to create low-cost, portable furniture forms, seen in this lounge chair.

It was based on Pratt’s 1940 design for a “suspended chair” in plywood and steel tubing, originally made for a course assignment at the Institute of Design “to change a flat sheet of material into a three-dimensional structure.” In 1951, the chair won a consumer’s choice award in the MoMA Good Design exhibition. The same year, Pratt and Cohen founded Designers in Production to produce household furnishings, including this chair.

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