Hours:

Sunday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday    9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Saturday

9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Fourth of July Weekend Hours: 
Closed Friday, July 3
Closed Saturday, July 4
Open Sunday, July 5, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.


Mead on Facebook Mead on Twitter Mead on Instagram Join the Mead mailing list!

Style, Structure, and Status: A Cross-Disciplinary Exploration of Chairs at the Mead, June 7–8, 2012. Guest Scholar: Galen Cranz, University of California, Berkeley.

Style, Structure, and Status

 

Overview and Schedule

Seminar participants learned about the history of chairs and their diverse social meanings. The Mead’s collection includes a 17th-century side chair, several in the Chippendale and Hepplewhite styles of Georgian England, as well as a Bauhaus “Barcelona” chair. Other examples and works of art illustrate seating conventions in a wide range of world cultures from Asia, Africa, and prehispanic America. The seminar provided an overview of craftsmanship and manufacture, and focused on the social contexts for the use of chairs, with an emphasis on the roles of status, economics, and ergonomics in determining stylistic change over time.  Participants explored successful strategies for incorporating these original works of art from the Mead’s collection into their teaching and research.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Session 1: Introduction: Physiology of the Right Angle Seated Posture

Session 2: Chairs as Status Markers: Class

Session 3: Chairs as Status Markers: Gender

Session 4: Art, Craft, and Style

Friday, June 8, 2012

Session 1: Handmade vs. Industrial Production

Session 2: Chair Reform

Session 3: Movement and Healthy Environments

Session 4: Teaching in Different Contexts

 

Guest Scholar: Galen Cranz

Professor Cranz is Professor of Architecture, a Ph.D. sociologist, designer, author, lecturer, and certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, a system of body-mind postural education. Her research specialties are urban parks, chairs and body conscious design, and qualitative research methods. She teaches courses in social and cultural processes in architecture and urban design, including research methods. Current research activity includes body conscious design, the sociology of taste, ethnography for design, and post-occupancy evaluation.

Professor Cranz is author of The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body and Design, which received the Achievement Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) in 2004. She is a founding member of the international Association for Body Conscious Design and lectures worldwide on this topic.

The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America has become a classic that exemplifies how physical design expresses and reinforces social forces over time. Professor Cranz's research on parks has led her to a long-standing interest in landscape architecture and public art.

Professor Cranz has been a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow and has received two Graham Foundation grants on rooftop usage and defining the sustainable park. She was part of a team that received the American Institute of Architect's Latrobe Research Grant 2005-2007 to use an evidence-based design approach to the design of hospitals. Most recently, she received the Environmental Design Research Association's Career Award in 2011.

As a designer, Professor Cranz has won first prize in a national competition for an inner-city park for St. Paul, was part of the Tschumi team that won first prize for Parc La Villette, Paris, and with a team that included Mary Miss won seventh place in the Spectacle Island Design Competition, Boston. She holds two patents for a lounge chair and a bathtub. The lounge chair is on exhibit in the outdoor SEAT exhibit at Fort Mason Cultural Center in San Francisco (June 23, 2011-2012). She has designed a house for the elderly after having conducted research on housing for the elderly in New Jersey and San Francisco. She has served as juror for 15 national urban design and public art competitions.

 

Selected Bibliography

Environmental Design Research: The Body, The City, and the Buildings in Between (2011)

The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design
(1998)

The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America
(1982)

 

Selected Web Resources

http://www.vam.ac.uk — As the world's leading museum of art and design, the V&A promotes the practice of design and aims to increase knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the designed world. The online collections database allows a search by object category, such as “chairs” and includes related articles.

http://www.winterthur.org — Winterthur is the premier museum of American decorative arts. Winterthur’s collection of nearly 90,000 objects features decorative and fine arts made or used in America from 1630 to 1860. Winterthur’s research library collection focuses on the documentation of American household goods and their use, decorative arts and design, and the material culture of everyday life in America from the 17th through the early 20th centuries; searchable online catalog, WinterCat.

http://designmuseum.org/exhibitions/online — On online exhibition “A Century of Chairs,” Design Museum, London

http://bauhaus-online.de/kalender/2012/03/21/stuehle-ohne-beine_4620 — “Chairs without legs” exhibition in Berlin.

http://www.mak.at/jetzt/f_jetzt.htm — Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Arts. “MAK Collection Online” – search for “chairs.”

http://www.artsandartists.org/exhibitions/chairs.html — A traveling exhibition of American chairs, now in Columbia, SC

http://www.bowdoin.edu/news/events/archives/007853.shtml — Press release for a past exhibition at Bowdoin College Museum of Art, “Sit Down! Chairs from Six Centuries,” October 2010-January 2011.

http://www.bgc.bard.edu — The Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, is a graduate research institute of Bard College.

 

List of selected chairs in the Mead collection

British
Charles II Side Chair
, 1680-1690
walnut
Bequest of Herbert L. Pratt, Class of 1895

AC 1945.267

Victorian
Slipper Chair
, late 19th century
silk brocade
From the Estate of Miss Isabel J. Turner

AC 1951.130

American  (Chippendale Style)
Sidechair
, ca. 1760-1770
mahogany and walnut
From the Estate of Miss Isabel J. Turner

AC 1951.132.a

Carlile, John and Son
American (Hepplewhite Style)
Federal side chair
, ca. 1790
mahogany
From the Estate of Miss Isabel J. Turner

AC 1951.147.a

French
Side Chair
, 18th century
gilded wood with silk upholstery
Gift of Miss Susan D. Bliss

AC 1954.20

French
Empire Side Chair
, 18th century
mahogany
Gift of Miss Susan D. Bliss

AC 1954.21

Chinese
Arm Chair
, 19th century
lacquered wood
Bequest of Judge and Mrs. Daniel Beecher

AC 1955.181

Chinese
Teakwood Straight Chair
, 19th century
teakwood
Bequest of Judge and Mrs. Daniel Beecher

AC 1955.183.a

British
Chippendale Ribbon-Back Arm Chair
, 18th century
mahogany
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Meyer

AC 1955.696.a

American
Open Arm Chair
, n.r.
Gift of the children of Elizabeth and Dwight W. Morrow

AC 1955.739.a

American
Hadley Chair
, ca. 1710-1720
black painted wood
Gift of Preston R. Bassett (Class of 1913)

AC 1975.88

American
Windsor Chair
, last quarter 18th century
wood
Gift of Estate of Maud Seligman

AC 1983.37

British
Armchair (Sheraton)
, ca. 1790-1800
hardwood
Gift of Mrs. Winifred Arms (wife of Robert Arms, Class of 1927)

AC 1984.142

British
Armchair
, ca. 1780
Gift of Mrs. Winifred Arms (wife of Robert Arms, Class of 1927)

AC 1984.143

Bernhard, Lucian
German, 1983-1972
Side chair
, ca. 1929
Bequest of Nathan George Horwitt

AC 1990.199

Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig
German (1886-1969)
"Barcelona" chair
, 1929 (design)
leather, metal
Bequest of Samuel Cummings (Class of 1926)

AC IR.33.96.1


List of works of art related to chairs in the Mead collection

Unknown
Chinese
Mandarin Seated on a Throne
, 19th century
watercolor on thin paper
Gift of John R. Palmer

AC 1943.2

Forbes, John Edwin
American (1839-1895)
The Drummer Boy
, ca. 1867
oil on canvas
Purchased

AC 1946.129

Barnard, George N.
American (1819-1902)
Sherman and His Generals
, 1865
albumen print
Gift of Mr. Grosvenor Hyde Backus (Class of 1894)

AC 1947.143

Fairclough, Wilfred
British (1907-1996)
Spanish Beggar
, 1938
line engraving
Gift of Edward C. Crossett (Class of 1905)

AC 1951.1016

Manet, Edouard
French (1832-1883)
The Spanish Singer (Le Chanteur ou Le Guitarero)
, 1861-62
etching
Gift of Edward C. Crossett (Class of 1905)

AC 1951.1726

Sutherland, Thomas; Wild, Charles (after)
British (1785-1838); British (1781-1835)
St. James' Palace, the King's Presence Chamber
, 1816
colored engraving
Gift of Mrs. Richard A. Robinson, III

AC 1955.286

Hogarth, William (after)
English (1697-1764)
Death of the Countess (Plate 6) from "Marriage a la Mode" Series
, 1745
etching and engraving
Gift of Gordon Groff

AC 1956.61

Hogarth, William (after)
English (1697-1764)
A Midnight Modern Conversation
, 1732-3
etching and engraving
Gift of Gordon Groff

AC 1956.62

Baron, Bernard; Hogarth, William (after)
French (1696-1762); British (1697-1764)
Marriage a la Mode, Plate II:  The Breakfast Scene
, 1745
engraving
Museum purchase

AC 1965.10b

Helman, Isidore-Stanislas; Monnet, Charles (after)
French (1743-1809); French (1732-after 1808)
Funeral Ceremony in Honor of the Martyrs of the Day of the 10th (August, 1792)
, 1794
engraving
Museum purchase

AC 1965.67

Indian, Moghul
Sultan Abu Said Mirza
, date unknown
Gouache on paper
Gift of Alban G. Widgery

AC 1967.30

Indian, Gujerat
Sayajirao Gaekwad II, Maharajah of Baroda
, 19th Century
Gouache on paper
Gift of Alban G. Widgery

AC 1967.64

Indian, Gujerat
A Monk with a Group of Disciples
, 19th Century
Gouache on paper
Gift of Alban G. Widgery

AC 1967.67

Indian (probably Jaipur, Rajasthan)
Ragini:  Lady sitting on terrace
, 19th century
Opaque watercolor on paper
Gift of Alban G. Widgery

AC 1967.77.h

Dürer, Albrecht
German (1471-1528)
The Birth of the Virgin, from the 'Life of the Virgin' series
, ca. 1503
woodcut
Gift in honor of Professor Otto-Manthey Zorn by Dr. Beekman J. Delatour, Class of 1911

AC 1975.78

Pontius, Paulus; after Jordaens, Jacob
Flemish (1603-1658); Flemish (1593-1678)
The King Drinks
, ca. 1645
engraving on heavy weight laid paper
Museum Purchase

AC 1976.10

Galle, Phillipp
Flemish (1537-1612)
Oil Painting (La Peinture a L'Huile)
,
engraving on laid paper
Museum purchase

AC 1979.44

Goltzius, Hendrik
Dutch (1558-1617)
The Circumcision, from the 'Life of the Virgin' series
, 1594
engraving on laid paper mounted on cardboard
Purchased with F.J. Woodbridge (Class of 1921) Memorial Fund

AC 1979.46.4

Goltzius, Hendrik
Dutch (1558-1617)
The Holy Family with John the Baptist as a Child, from the 'Life of the Virgin' series
, 1593
engraving on laid paper mounted on cardboard
Purchased with F.J. Woodbridge (Class of 1921) Memorial Fund

AC 1979.46.6

Fortuny, Mariano Y Carbo (1836-1874)
Spanish, 19th century
Araba Assis

etching
Purchase from the Frederick J. Woodbridge, Class of 1921, Memorial Fund

AC 1980.53

Utagawa Toyoharu
Japanese (1735-1814)
Two Women Practicing Painting and Calligraphy
, 1787
woodblock print
Gift of William Green

AC 1990.179

Unknown
Pre-Columbian, Moche
Jar
, 100 BC - 500 AD
ceramic
Gift of Donald Finberg (Class of 1953)

AC 1991.47

Sheikh, Fazal
American, born 1965
Pedro Jasi and Ruiz Juao (Mozambique refugee camp, Nyamithutu, Malawi)
, 1994
gelatin silver print
Gift of Fazal Sheikh in memory of Allan P. Albert (Class of 1967)

AC 1994.149

Sheikh, Fazal
American, born 1965
William Biar Gai and Bol Aguot, "Unaccompanied Minors" (Sudanese refugee camp, Kakuma, Kenya)
, 1993
gelatin silver print
Gift of Fazal Sheikh in memory of Allan P. Albert (Class of 1967)

AC 1994.150

Sheikh, Fazal
American, born 1965
Sahan Mohamout Hussein and her daughter Leila, Feeding center, Somali refugee camp, Mandera, Kenya 1993
, 1993
gelatin silver print
Gift of Fazal Sheikh in memory of Allan P. Albert (Class of 1967)

AC 1994.151

Utagawa Yoshikazu
Japanese (active 1850-1870)
Seated Samurai General - Oban
, 19th century
woodblock print
Gift of William Green

AC 1996.36

Ando Hiroshige
Japanese (1797-1858)
Chushingura Series: Act VII, Yuranosuke Dining with the Spy Kudayu at Ichiriki Brothel, Kyoto, on the Anniversary of Enya's Death
, 1836
woodblock print
Gift of Howard Hamilton

AC 2004.63.02

Dente, Marco; Salviati, Francesco, after
Italian (ca.1486-1527); Italian (1510-1563)
An Assembly of Scholars
, ca. 1515-1527
engraving on paper
Given in memory of William and Mary Heath

AC 2011.06

Unknown
Persian (16th century)
Zah-hak Receiving the Nobility
, 16th century
watercolor and gold leaf on parchment
Gift of the Amherst Dilettanti

AC P.1940.4

Collaert, Adriaen, II; de Vos, Martin (after)
Flemish
The Last Supper
, 16th - 17th century
engraving
Gift of George D. Pratt

AC PR.1929.60

Green, Valentine; Copley, John Singleton (after)
British (1739-1813); American (circa 1738-1815)
Henry Laurens
, 1782
mezzotint engraving
Bequest of James Turner (Class of 1880)

AC PR.1939.49

Beier, Ulli
German, born 1922
Yoruba Kings series: Oba Oyewusi, II, Olokuku of Okuku seated
,
black and white photograph
Study Collection

AC STUDY.1.2002.1.f

Beier, Ulli
German, born 1922
Yoruba Kings series: The Ogoga of Ikere seated
,
black and white photograph
Study Collection

AC STUDY.1.2002.1.h

 

Hours:

Sunday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Monday Closed
Tuesday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday    9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Saturday

9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Fourth of July Weekend Hours: 
Closed Friday, July 3
Closed Saturday, July 4
Open Sunday, July 5, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.


Mead on Facebook Mead on Twitter Mead on Instagram Join the Mead mailing list!