Karl Emmanuel Martin (Kem) Weber ( American, 1889 - 1963 )


Grand Rapids Chair Company ( American, 1872 )

c. 1928
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General Description

This highly architectonic chair represents one of Kem Weber's most successful designs from the late 1920s, reflecting his interest in European moderne furniture and anticipating his more streamlined creations of the 1930s. Introduced in 1928 by the Grand Rapids Chair Company as part of "The Kem Weber Group," the chair eschews painted or carved decoration for the bold effect of wraparound arms and stretchers, a tall back, and rich "sage-green" lacquer. The use of rear saber legs provides an unexpected homage to traditional chair forms and gently reinforces the appearance of forward motion provided by the dynamic horizontal lines of the arms.

Drawn from

  • Kevin W. Tucker, DMA unpublished material.

  • David Gebhard, Kem Weber: The Moderne in Southern California, 1920-1941 (Santa Barbara: University of California, 1969).

  • Shaping the Modern: American Decorative Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago, 1917- 1965 (The Art Institute of Chicago, 2001), 43-45.

Web Resources

PBS American Experience
Read more about Industrial Designers and Streamliners

Kem Weber
Learn more about furniture and industrial designer Kem Weber