Time to ask the reader’s attention for an important chair collector: Michael Boyd and his wife Gabrielle.
Boyd was working as a music composer for advertising, television and film, in San Francisco when he and his wife, Gabrielle Doré, and their two sons, relocated to Manhattan. They had purchased the iconic Beekman Place townhouse of Paul Rudolph, which was in desperate need of renovation after the modernist architect’s death in 1997.
At the time, Boyd was already known as a serious collector, thanks to a 1998 exhibition at SFMOMA that featured more than 100 pieces from his collection of furniture and objects by various 20th-century designers.
His work on the Beekman property was widely admired, featured in the New York Times and many international design publications, and its success lead him to his next project: a major renovation of Oscar Niemeyer’s white-brick-and-glass Strick House, in Santa Monica, which Boyd and his wife purchased as their next home the day they sold the Rudolph property. The famed Brazilian architect’s only North American residential commission had been on the verge of demolition by a local developer, despite the outcry of local preservationists.
Other renovations followed. The Boyds are based in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Boyd is the founder and designer of PLANEfurniture, a line of architectural furnishings,
He is the principal of BoydDesign, a consultancy for the restoration and preservation of modernist architecture, and for collecting modern art and design. He is an internationally renown and widely published expert on 20th century design and post-war Modernism.
Boyd is featured in Collecting Design by Adam Lindeman (Taschen, 2011).
This post is inspired by the following publications:
The green PP530 Tub Chair by Hans Wegner I saw in the Design Museum Danmark in Kopenhagen. PP Mobler about it:
Conceived in 1954 the Tub Chair was a pioneering experiment, and it turned out to be the most advanced shell chair design Wegner ever did, as the back of the chair is a complicated double bent shell comprising two individual shapes: One that is bent and one that is both bent and twisted.
Even besides the complexity of the back, the Tub Chair is a unique fusion, where Wegner merge the moulded plywood technique with upholstery and traditional work in solid wood and even adding a metal angle adjustment mechanism for the back. It is one of the most striking and brilliant examples of Wegnerâ€™s vision and courage, and still it is a most practical, usable and comfortable chair.
However, the Tub Chair was not technically possible to produce in a rational way within the lifetime of Wegner. As our techniques have developed, PP Møbler has been able to produce this great tribute and introduce this bold design in celebration of the 100 years anniversary of Wegner, one of the greatest designers of all times.
The black one I found at the auction site of Phillips where an early model was sold for UK pound 50,000 in October 2015
The Catalogue about it:
The present lot is one of two known period examples of the ‘Tub’ chair, a model which did not enter into wider production during Hans J. Wegner’s lifetime. The chair seat is composed of two pieces of fabric-covered moulded plywood. It rests on a dramatically angled oak base and is supported by a brass mechanism that allows for adjustment of the back angle. Its complexity prohibited fabrication in greater number, though it was included in the 1954 Cabinetmaker’s Guild exhibition in Copenhagen. The chair is a notable example of Wegner’s explorations into the possibilities of plywood, but ultimately the demands of employing both laminate and solid wood construction concurrently were too great and he chose to focus on the latter.
The design of the ‘Tub’ chair shares the intuitive elegance of Wegner’s other furniture, and references certain features of his most well-known chair designs specifically. While structurally more elaborate, the clamshell-form seat relates to the ‘Peacock’ chair (1947) and the forceful forward movement of the base to the ‘Folding’ chair (1949). The ‘Tub’ most closely anticipates Wegner’s ‘Shell’ chair of 1963. It is notable that even a decade after the introduction of the ‘Tub’, the ‘Shell’ form was still considered too radical for its time. It was following the ‘Shell’ chair designs that Wegner closed the chapter on his experiments with plywood. However by 1989 it was picked for the cover of the catalogue for the exhibition celebrating Wegner’s 77th birthday and has since become one of his most iconic masterpieces. The present chair is consequently a rare illustration of some of his earliest career-defining ideas.