Thread: Pinakothek der Moderne - Part 2
14th Jan 2020, 05:37 AM #1
Pinakothek der Moderne - Part 2
I was very much looking forward to visiting the Bauhaus Museum. This has been a long-standing area of inspiration. Bauhaus was a German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was arguably the single most influential modernist art school of the 20th century.
I arrived to discover that the Museum was closed for refurbishment, and would not re-open for a few years. In its place it had a temporary exhibition. I was very disappointed, to say the least. But this was to be made up by the exhibition at the Pinakothek der Moderne. Here are a few images from the Bauhaus exhibition as an introduction.
The Throst Carpet by Gertrud Arndt (1927)
The first Wassilly chair by Marcel Breuer. Originally named the 'B3 Chair', it was inspired by the use of tubular steel in the bicycle and Breuer's subsequent application of this material and technique to furniture revolutionised modern design and production ...
.. and a few more ...
This chair was the first I saw at the Pinakothek, and there were so many, many others. I shall limit my selection to ones which I think were important and you may enjoy ...
Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1917)
and again (1903) ..
Here's a stool he did in 1897 with his wife (?) Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh ..
So "modern" in 1898 ... Richard Riemerschmid
Everyone's favourite ... Gerrit Thomas Rietveld's Zig-Zag chair, which dates to 1932 ...
Not exactly fine woodworking for the joinery
This chair comes from 1924 (Lynndy in the background) ..
.. and the sideboard from 1919 ...
The chair that is so well-known is his Red and Blue Chair from 1918 ...
This appears to precede it, from 1917 ...
The joinery looks to be dowels ...
This is by Hans and Wassili Luckhardt (ca 1930) ...
The S-Chair by Eileen Gray (1932) ...
.. and of course THE chaise loungue by Le Corbusier (1928) ...
A sideboard by Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann (1928) ...
Not one of his more fancy pieces, and the photo does not do it justice (too many reflections). The cabinet doors are smoked glass.
The Eames brothers - Ray and Charles - were there, naturally. I use one of their office chairs at my desk in my office. This one was not on display ...
... but this one was:
Lastly, there was Hans Wegner. I have one of his Round Chairs at home, and built a replica of this a few years back. Mine on the left and Hans' on the right ...
... so you will understand I am a fan. Here is his Egg Chair (left) and Shell Chair (right) ..
Thanks for joining me on this journey. But stick around - there is a Part 3 coming.
Regards from Munich
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14th Jan 2020, 05:42 PM #2Member
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14th Jan 2020, 06:41 PM #3
when you were in Vienna did you go to the MAK?
They've got a fair bit of Wiener Werkstatte stuff there, which is the precursor to Art Deco and Bauhaus. They've got a lot of chairs too, as well as furniture from the early 1900s.
I was lucky enough to visit there a couple of years ago when their temporary exhibition had a lot of info about restoring wooden window frames and the use of (linseed) oil based paints.
14th Jan 2020, 09:37 PM #4
15th Jan 2020, 09:54 AM #5
Thanks for posting the pix. I have not seen an original close up before.
I can add a little information about the Red Blue Chair of Gerrit Rietveldt. It was first produced in 1917 as an affordable chair for the masses. At that time most chairs were of traditional joinery construction. All the joints in his chair were made with concealed dowels. However, there is one joint that has to be fudged as the three way union requires a through dowel. The original chair was constructed with a natural finish look. My information is that the red/blue version did not appear until 1924. Rietveldt became associated with the De Stijl movement around 1919 and it was that fact which led to the dramatic colouring. I have just checked up and the red/blue version could have first appeared any time between 1920 and 1923.
The black frame was stained and varnished and the other three colours were painted.
I made a couple of these chairs quite a while back for our children, but both have come back to us (the son is overseas and the daughter doesn't have the room in her flat) and one is in daily use. Consequently, and in particular as it sits outside on the porch, which is only partly shielded from the weather, it now needs repainting.
P1040022 (Medium) (2).JPG
Actually that pic is from two years ago.
The chair is quite small and although surprisingly comfortable, SWMBO made cushions for those without too much padding of their own. This is the chair today.
Red Blue chair (Medium).JPG
Time has not improved it's appearance.
This is the joint that has to be fudged:
At some stage I will make up a Zig Zag chair.
"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"
16th Jan 2020, 11:03 AM #6
Thanks for sharing Derek.
While on chairs, my favourite exhibit is in the Design Museum of 'Danmark' in Copenhagen. It chronicles the history of the development of modern chair design with an extensive and well laid out display. I can recommend it to you or anyone else interested in furniture design.
THE DANISH CHAIR - Design Museum Denmark
The museum also has an extensive collection of traditional Japanese design that points to its influence on 20th century western designers.Stay sharp!
20th Jan 2020, 01:46 AM #7
Pinakothek der Moderne - Part 2 POST SCRIPT
Lynndy and I were about to board the plane from Munich to Singapore when we came face-to-face with this glass cabinet ... filled with miniature chairs (each about 2" high) ..
The detailing on these was amazingly good ...
Imagine .. who needs to visit the Pinakothek der Moderne!
Regards from Perth
20th Jan 2020, 04:14 AM #8
20th Jan 2020, 07:38 AM #9
20th Jan 2020, 12:32 PM #10
Regards from Perth
20th Jan 2020, 03:41 PM #11
Please continue, Derek. I, for one, have really enjoyed this series and it has stirred some important memories.
My interest in design and woodwork was sparked by a visit to the Museum of Fine Art, Boston in 1980 and their Please be Seated exhibition. Back in the mid-1970's the MFA generously commissioned about twenty of the most prominent designer/makers in America to produce a chair for exhibition, and the visitors to the Museum were permitted, no encouraged, to sit in the chairs. People such as Sam Maloof and Wendell Castle responded and the exhibition was so successful that it became part of the MFA's permanent collection. You cannot really appreciate the quality of a Sam Maloof chair unless you sit in it and feel the silky texture of the finish and how the chair caresses your bum. Until I experienced, not saw, this exhibition, I never suspected that a bunch of chairs could have a place in a major museum, alongside their Rembrandts and Renoirs. Design is a major art!
20th Jan 2020, 05:31 PM #12
20th Jan 2020, 06:04 PM #13
I’m keen to see some more design on here anytime.
I also visited The Museum of Fine Art in Boston in late 1983.
On the same trip I dropped in on Sam Malouf, Wendel Castle, Don McKinley,Art Carpenter, James Krenov and stayed with Garry Bennett for a week in Oakland.
I was in the middle of doing the ‘Wood’ program at Canberra School of Art.
In the course we had no exposure to any designers other than George.
I used to attend the local CAE where Michael Bogle was doing a night lecture on furniture design.
I’d seen all these North American Woodworkers in Fine Woodworking and so wrote them as I was going to Canada to meet my wife’s family. They all replied and said sure come and visit.
Garry didn’t reply but on my arrival in SFA I rang him. His main concern was ‘Do you drink beer?’
Was fun staying with him and helping him in his Alameda workshop.
Next person I visited just up the Coast was James Krenov at Fort Bragg, I think he was quite taken aback that I’d just come from Garry’s.
Garrys ‘Nail’ piece was still a bit raw for him.
H.Jimcracks for the rich and/or wealthy. (aka GKB '88)
21st Jan 2020, 04:25 AM #14
21st Jan 2020, 08:00 AM #15
I visited the Boston MFA last year, and agree, it's well worth the time. I also visited the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian in Washington DC. While a large part of it was closed for renovations, those things that were on exhibition were excellent. I'll post som photos later.
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