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Marcel Breuer

Marcel Breuer
(1902 - 1962)

Marcel Breuer is undoubtely the major designer to leave the “Bauhaus”, a member of whose school he became in 1920. Despite the beginnings of his works being typified by the clear influence of Expressionism, the “De Stijl” School and Costructivism, very soon his intersts were entirely focused on the problems standardisation applied to furniture manufacturing processes. In 1924 following the transfer of the School to Desseu, Breuer become the director of the furniture section and, thanks to his prestigious job, had the chance to apply his own theorethical and practical knowledge. From 1925, with the invention of furniture in tubular metal, he also dicovered a new typology, a new tradition and a new technology. From a sociological-psycological point of view such furniture indicated a changed relationship between furnishings and the house, between people and the home, indeed furniture was no longer a sort of domestic monument, but a useful object, light, manageable and flexible as well as also being economical as regards costs. In 1925 Breuer designed and made the first chair in steel tubing, the famous “Wassily” model which was entirely in nickel plated and cold-drawn. Mannesman pipe with soldered joints. The designer wrote on this subject: “In my studies on mass production and standardisation is very quickly discovered polished metal, luminous lines and spatial purity as new constructional elements for our furnishings. In these luminous, curved lines I saw not only symbols of technique, but technique in general”. Certainly he is not the only one who came to design similar furniture, indeed other artists too, such as Mart Stam and Mies Van der Rohe also soon designed the same type of funiture. After opening a studio in Berlin which he kept unfil 1931, Breuer started to travel in Spain, North Africa, Greece, The Balkans, Switzerland and Italy. His first architectural designs date from 1932 – the Harnischmacher House at Weisbaden. In 1937 he definitely moved to the United States. He taught at Harvard University and opened a studio in New York in 1946. He designed a series of very beautiful mansions for the rich American clientele as well as a vast series of buildings such as the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, the Bijhenkorf department store in Rotterdam, the USA Embassy in the Hague, the Whitney Musem of American Art in New york and many others. His architecture, like this furniture, marries elegant beauty to extreme functionalism.
Harry Bertoia
(1915 - 1978)
Marcel Breuer
(1902 - 1962)
Charles Eames
(1907 - 1978)
Jean Michel Frank
(1895 - 1941)
Eileen Gray
(1878 - 1976)
René Herbst
(1891 - 1982)
Josef Hoffman
(1870 - 1956)
Le Corbusier
(1887 - 1965)
Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
(1886 - 1969)
George Nelson
(1908 - 1985)
Isamu Noguchi
(1904 - 1989)
Gerrit Thomas Rietveld
(1888 - 1964)
Eero Saarinen
(1910 - 1961)
Mart Stam
(1899 - 1986)
Vittoriano Viganò
(1919 - 1996)
Frank Lloyd Wright
(1867 - 1959)