Pair of Womb Chairs by Eero Saarinen for Knoll
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Eero Saarinen for Knoll, 'Womb Chair', fabric, metal, United States, design 1946-1948.
This shelled, cushioned armchair is designed between 1946 and 1948 by Eero Saarinen. The chair was a specific request by Florence Knoll, who thought it was time for a 'big one'. It was at Florence Knoll's specific request as she claims to have been sick and tired of structured chairs which held you in one position. She said she wanted 'a chair in which was like basket full of pillows, something I could curl up in'. Eero designed the chair and did the prototype himself too.
Knoll International was founded in New York by the 26 year old German Hans Knoll (1914-1955) in 1938. Hans' father, Walter Knoll was a true modernist and furniture manufacturer who had a reputation for quality. When Hans Knoll died at a young age his wife Florence Knoll took over and under her influence the company flourished and created its best designs. She designed and led the company where she cooperated with talented designers such as Eero Saarinen, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Schultz and Harry Bertoia.
Eero Saarinen (1910-1961) was a Finnish-American architect who helped to shape the American postwar architecture of progression and optimism. Saarinen designed several airports and worked for large corporate clients such as IBM and General Motors. This meant that the identity of Saarinen's architecture went hand in hand with the identity of these companies. His design was also used in many companies and homes and thus helped to shape the aesthetic landscape of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s.
- Merkel, Jayne. Eero Saarinen. New York: Phaidon, 2005, p. 57 and 61.