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Marcel Breuer

Marcel Breuer (born 21. May 1902 in Pécs/Hungry; died 1. July 1981 in New York City/USA) belongs to the elite group of architects and designers who helped shape 20th century thinking on form, function and aesthetic. In 1920 Marcel Breuer began studying art in Vienna, a course he quickly gave up in order to begin a carpentry apprenticeship at Bahuas in Weimar. His talents were quickly acknowledged and in 1921 Breuer began working in the Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius's studio. After completing his training in 1924, Breuer was appointed Head of the Carpentry Workshop in 1925. In 1933 he fled from Nazi Germany, returning initially to his native Hungry before moving on to London and in 1937 the USA where he took up a teaching position at the Harvard university Graduate School of Design. Although initially a furniture designer, Breuer worked most of his professional life as an architect working on projects ranging from private houses over commercial properties and onto public buildings. Among Breuer's most famous works are the UNESCO Headqurters in Paris, the De Bijenkorf department store in Rotterdam and the Saint John's Abbey Church at the St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. Perhaps his most ambitious project was the French ski resort of Flaine, which Breuer created in its entirety. Marcel Breuer's furniture designs are almost exclusively from his Bauhaus period, and in many ways can be considered defining pieces of the Bauhaus approach. His Model B3 Chair, popularly known as the Wassily Chair, is perhaps one of the best known and most instantly recognisable furniture pieces from the 1920s. It also counts among the most copied designs. Other important works by Marcel Breuer include his Cesca cantilever chair as well as his B55 and S 32 cantilever chairs and B 10 side table, all part of a series of tubular steel furniture created in the late 1920s.

More about 'Marcel Breuer' in our blog

Anton Lorenz: From Avant-Garde to Industry @ Vitra Design Museum Schaudepot, Weil am Rhein

...Prior to his aforementioned acquaintance with Mies van der Rohe's cantilever chairs, Lorenz had seen works by Marcel Breuer in the office of Breuer's associate, business partner, and fellow Hungarian, Kálmán Lengyel, and subsequently not only joined the board of Breuer and Lengyel's Standard Möbel company but undertook experiments in his own workshop to further develop the technical, material, aspects of Breuer's work, experiments which, as he describes, were intended to bring the same resilience to Breuer's designs that he had felt in Mies's... Thonet, serving between 1933 and 1935 as, and somewhat logically, Head of Industrial Property Rights, before spending the second half of the 1930s in closed contact with the likes of Mies van der Rohe, Hans Luckhardt, Heinz Rasch, Lily Reich, László Moholy-Nagy and Marcel Breuer...

smow blog Design Calendar: June 1st 1932 - Mart Stam Awarded Artistic Copyright for the Cubic Cantilever Chair

...The story begins in Dessau in the mid 1920s and the development of tubular steel furniture, a process in which Marcel Breuer unquestionably played a major, if not the major, role... Aware of the commercial possibilities of the genre Marcel Breuer established in late 1926/early 1927 the company Standard-Möbel in Berlin with fellow Magyar Kálmán Lengyel, the first dedicated manufacturer of tubular steel furniture...

smow Blog Interview: Ansgar B. Heickmann, Auktionshaus Heickmann, Chemnitz ... Or, How One Sells a Marcel Breuer Chair for Euro 55,000...

...A problem which led to the defining of the following requirements: a) Elastic seat and backrest, but no upholstery, which is heavy, expensive and gathers dust b) Inclination of the seat so as to support the upper leg along its full length without the pressure that arises with a flat seating surface c) An angled position for the upper body d) Freedom of the spine because each and very pressure on the spine is both uncomfortable and unhealthy"1 The above description for a chair design may sound contemporary and it was, very contemporary when formulated by Marcel Breuer in 1925... From this analysis of the requirements of a comfortable chair Marcel Breuer realised his so-called Lattenstuhl, Slatted Armchair, one of his first chair designs and arguably one of the most central in the (hi)story of chair design...

smow blog compact: 2.5.0. – Object is Meditation and Poetry. Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig at the Grassi Museum for Applied Arts Leipzig

...Not that that matters, for viewed on their own projects such as, for example, Cindy Schmiedichen's untitled plaster plank creations set amongst a collection of tables and chairs by the likes of Marcel Breuer, Anton Lorenz and Mies van der Rohe or Susan Winter's, invariably, untitled, composition with 10,000 razor blades, we're and are delightful and highly enjoyable... Marcel Breuer's bent tubular steel chairs can be considered a senseless piece of student indulgence...

new at smow: Eileen Gray

...Although for many Gray's work will not as familiar as that of Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier or Mies van der Rohe one should not underestimate the contribution made by Eileen Gray to the development furniture design in the 20th century...

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