Exceedingly Rare Greta Grossman Folding Chairs

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Exceedingly Rare Greta Grossman Folding Chairs

12,500.00

$12,500 EACH

United States
circa 1949

Exceedingly rare, sculpturally resonant Greta Grossman indoor/outdoor folding chairs, of painted tubular steel and cotton cord, produced in California circa 1949 either by Barker Brothers or Modern Color, Inc. The chaise and lounge versions of this chair appear in the Greta Grossman archives, and are documented with staged archival photographs as Barker Brothers productions circa 1947 in the book “Greta Magnusson Grossman—A Car and Some Shorts” in the chronology at the end; the present side or dining chair version is not included in the chronology, but is apparent in a John Hartley photograph of Grossman’s own house in 1956 in proximity to an outdoor dining table. It is logical that Grossman would possess an example of all the designs in the series. The outdoor lounge chair version subsequently appears in “Current Design” for Autumn 1950 curated by the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Modern Color, Inc of Los Angeles is listed as the producer and distributor. The 3/4 inch gauge of the tubular steel, the width of the chair, the “Greta Grossman green” color and the construction details all line up precisely with the present chairs, down to the welded projections that prevent the seat from sagging when sat in (see attached photos). Note that the same Barker Brothers archival photo is used by Modern Color. Modern Color probably failed in its efforts to market the chairs, perhaps sending a few prototypes around to museums or showrooms. More likely, the present chairs were made by Barker Brothers as part of whatever small production run occurred in Los Angeles in the late 1940’s. The chairs have new cotton cord, following the original lines, but the green paint is spot-on original, with obvious wear (and character) associated with age and use. I am not aware of any other examples of this design turning up in any collection or on the market (nor of the lounge version), so this is an exciting opportunity for a collector, curator, or designer to add a hitherto unseen item from one of America’s most important mid-century designer/architects. There are two chairs available; they are PRICED INDIVIDUALLY.

Condition
Fine structural condition. The “Grossman” green paint is original and shows patina and obvious wear associated with age and use. The cotton cord is new following original lines. See photos.

Measurements
Height: 33.5 in.
Width/length: 21 in.
Depth: 23 in.
Seat height: 18 in.

Specifications
Number of items: 2 (Priced individually)
Materials/techniques: Painted tubular steel; new cotton cord

Quantity:
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