Corner chair


Charles Rohlfs ( American, 1853 - 1936 )

c. 1898–1899
more object details

General Description

This corner chair was originally part of an intricately pierced, boxlike table and four-chair set created by American Arts and Crafts designer Charles Rohlfs in 1898 or 1899. The table's legs, placed at the midpoints of the sides of the table rather than at the corners, were joined by cruciform cross stretchers that left the corners empty for the four chairs which, thus, fit entirely under the table top.

A photograph of the complete set appeared in 1901 in the highly influential German magazine _Dekorative Kunst, _in which Rohlfs was declared "inventive and uninfluenced." However, Rohlfs probably based the set on interlocking table and chair forms from China and Japan. Further, the individual chairs, which employ elaborate fretwork echoed both above and below the inset seat, are playful reinterpretations of the English and Anglo-American tradition of corner chairs that spanned the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

Drawn from

  • Kevin Tucker, DMA unpublished material (2009.31), 2009.
  • Joseph Cunningham, The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs (New York: American Decorative Art 1900 Foundation; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008), 123-125.

Web Resources

  • De Young Museum
    View an 18th century corner chair, the form on which this chair is based.
  • Museum of Modern Art
    View a notable 19th century corner chair by Ford Madox Brown, in production from 1865 through the 1880s.