In 1942, the collector Peggy Guggenheim sought advice from the architect and designer Frederick Kiesler on how to remodel two shops on West Fifty-seventh Street in Manhattan into a gallery for Surrealist and American art. Kiesler responded with plans for Art of This Century, the now-legendary gallery that became a focal point of the avant-garde. There, paintings were shown without frames, a Surrealist room incorporated curved walls, and pictures were displayed mounted on the ends of baseball bats projecting from the walls. With a nod to Surrealism’s freedoms, the gallery’s organic table could be tilted or turned upside down, becoming a pedestal to show sculpture, or an easel to display a painting, or a chair shaped to the curve of the seated figure and a companion piece to the rocking chair.
29 1/8 x 30 1/2 x 15 5/8 in. (74.0 x 77.5 x 39.7 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Ruth Abrams
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Frederick J Kiesler (American, born Vienna, 1890-1965). Rocking Chair, ca. 1942. Plywood, linoleum, 29 1/8 x 30 1/2 x 15 5/8 in. (74.0 x 77.5 x 39.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Ruth Abrams, 76.169. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 76.169_bw.jpg)
overall, 76.169_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Rocking chair, plywood upholstered in dark blue linoleum. Free form, general J-shaped plywood rocking chair with dark blue linoleum upholstery. Flat, parallel sides made of three pieces of plywood, beveled along edges where boards meet. Contoured seat, back and underside consist of wood joined to side edges and wrapped around entire shape; covered by a continuous linoleum strip all around chair; seamed at front below seat. Four securing screws on each side. Three circular holes, each with a notch on left side.
CONDITION: Both sides badly nicked along edges. Scratches and punch marks on both sides. Split across top board and in middle and bottom board on right side. Paint drops on left side. Linoleum coming loose particularly at seam at front of chair where corner is torn off. Linoleum scratched throughout. Hole in linoleum at back of chair near bottom. (See conservation memo 11/21/91).
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