The Wassily chair was designed by Marcel Breuer while at the Bauhaus in 1925 and is named for Wassily Kandinsky. The tubular frame is inspired by a bicycle frame.
That being said this is one of the pains of research… While Knoll’s website reports that Breuer was working as an intern at Bauhaus, MOMA reports that he was an instructor. Some say that it was Kandinsky’s bike while others say it was Breuer’s. The idea was to show that you could still have style with out all the Padded seats and still maintain style. This ushered in a new era of furniture that broke away from padded seats and armrests… the celebration of the structure and simplicity was the point.
One of the main points of the Salem Library was that people are free to take these chairs down and sit in them, look at them, feel them. I was surprised to find how uncomfortable this chair was. Then I thought back to the Wassilys I have sat in over the past few years. This chair is beautiful when it comes out of the factory but the human body forms it into comfort. I think there is something more to explore there.
I am studying Knoll’s chairs in the library today and will be working on all 5. Look for more posts later today.