On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, The City and the Rise of the Modern Woman, 1900–1945
Aerodynamic streamlining is characteristic of much American industrial and domestic design of the late 1920s and 1930s. Undecorated, curved designs, as seen here, are well suited to machine production and expressive of speed and change. The vanity and stool are made of chromed metal tubing, an innovation in furniture construction pioneered in the early 1920s by Marcel Breuer at the Bauhaus, the seminal German school for modern design. It was still a startling new material a decade later.
Although the vanity is gender-specific, this stark, modern interpretation has a limited palette and is made of new materials with hard surfaces. Updating an old form, Kem Weber transformed it for the modern woman.
Chrome-plated tubular steel, upholstery
17 1/2 x 21 x 22 1/2 in. (44.5 x 53.3 x 57.2 cm) (show scale)
Modernism Benefit Fund
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Kem Weber (American, born Germany, 1889-1963). Stool, ca. 1934. Chrome-plated tubular steel, upholstery, 17 1/2 x 21 x 22 1/2 in. (44.5 x 53.3 x 57.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Modernism Benefit Fund, 87.123.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 87.123.1a-b_87.123.2_reference_SL1.jpg)
group, 87.123.1a-b_87.123.2_reference_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Low, four-legged stool, en suite with vanity and mirror (87.123.1a-b). Half an oval in plan, consisting of tubular steel legs and continuous stretchers wrapping around all but front side of stool. Seat is deep (wood-framed?) unit sitting atop legs and covered in black simulated leather.
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