Eliel Saarinen House Side Chair

Two dining chairs originally designed by Eliel Saarinen for the Saarinen home at Cranbrook (1929-1930). These chairs are original reproductions and made by Charles Phipps & Sons, USA. They are made of solid maple with polished ebony lacquer.

Chair’s Story
While others would have been content to rest on their laurels after a successful career in the country of their birth, Eliel Saarinen saw a future away from his native Finland. In 1923, at the age of fifty, he sailed to America in search of a new architectural frontier. Soon thereafter, while a visiting professor at the University of Michigan, Eliel Saarinen had the good fortune to befriend George G. Booth, a newspaper magnate and patron of the arts. Booth found in Saarinen a man sympathetic to his dreams of a vast educational center to be developed at Cranbrook, his 260 acre estate twenty miles north of Detroit. Saarinen found the ideal patron in Booth – sensitive, respectful and appreciative of good design.

For the next 25 years, Saarinen devoted his creative energies to an academic community that soon grew to include the Cranbrook School for boys, the Kingswood School for girls, an Academy of Art, and a Science institute. Saarinen carefully transformed a raw and gentle landscape of existing farm buildings and yards into an extraordinary visual delight. Saarinen constructed a hierarchy of form, function, and purpose. He saw space as a totality, believing that an object should be designed within its next largest context; a brick within a wall, a chair within a room, a room within a house, a house within a street, etc.

In addition to the furnishings for the Cranbrook School itself, Saarinen constructed a residence for his family from 1928-1930. One of the most important rooms in the house was the octagonal dining room. Paneled in a honey-color oak with niches in each corner, the space featured an inlaid table surround by chairs with fluted backs. The fluted backs were like petals on a flower next to the elaborate table. This chair fit perfectly with the table and the dining set was a perfect fit to the room.


SPECIFICATIONS:  Two chairs in good condition with age appropriate wear.
MATERIALS: S  Solid maple, black leather.
WIDTH FRONT: 45 cm / 17.7 in
WIDTH BACK: 39 cm / 15.3 in
DEPTH: 48 cm / 18.9 in
HEIGHT: 96 cm / 37.8 in
SEAT HEIGHT: 46 cm / 18 in