Many thanks to the Friends of the Edward-Dean Museum & Gardens in Cherry Valley who have worked to put together the museum’s recent exhibit, “Chair-ish Seated on Culture.”
This colorful exhibition showcases a collection of historical chairs with unique designs to delight the eye and nurture the soul of children, adults and art connoisseur enthusiasts.
Each chair has its own story to tell and each display is a work of art in its own right.
Printed educational placards assist in the understanding of the association of chair design to various eras such as the Age of Absolute Monarchy, Age of Enlightenment, and the Space Age.
The museum’s curator, Baljit Toor also guides tour groups.
Many styles of the Monarchy era (1650-1770) were associated with the Royal Court or members linked with the Court.
Chairs of this era featured curvilinear design as well as a decorative cushioned seat and back for comfort.
The Age of Enlightenment (1750-1850) – also called the Age of Reason, was a philosophical movement that began in Europe.
The Enlightenment era embraced concepts such as reason, liberty, and science.
These ideas helped to formulate the principles associated with the American and French Revolutions of 1776 and 1789.
During this period Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson developed chairs that were created for utility and simplicity.
Jefferson’s Windsor chair is known as the first swivel chair.
Functional swivel chairs are commonly seen in offices and homes world-wide.
The Space Age (1950-1960) was a time of rebuilding in America.
The generation who had lived through World War II sought to own a home of their own and urban sprawl spread across the United States. American designed chairs of this period were modernist and were made of materials such as stainless steel and molded plastic to produce chairs that were both lightweight and durable.
The Friends of the Edward-Dean Museum volunteer group has helped to support the gallery exhibits that have welcomed school bus tour groups and entertained families for many years. The current Chair-ish exhibit runs through Dec. 28 and it is well worth a visit and community support!
Joan Marie Patsky, Beaumont