The collection
Tall-backed chair with curving bentwood frame and seat and back made of woven strips of brown jute.

Working Chair

Designed by
Bruno Mathsson (1907–1956)
Beech, jute
Produced by
Firma Karl Mathsson, Värnamo, Sweden
79.8 x 49.4 x 72.4 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., D88.145.1*

Mathsson, a Swedish architect and designer, designed chairs with webbing as an alternative to the heavier springs, stuffing, and upholstery of more expensive easy chairs. To achieve maximum comfort, he developed a new kind of frame, contoured to follow the curves of the human body and adapt to the person sitting in the chair rather than the other way around. The chairs represented a move away from the strict Bauhaus geometry seen in the tubular steel furniture of the 1930s toward the softened forms of Scandinavian wood furniture.