Driehaus Museum Visit: The Art of Seating


The Driehaus Museum reached out to us to visit their new chair exhibit, The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design, and I GLADLY accepted. It's no secret, I have this thing for chairs. So I dragged my favorite partner in design crime, Brad Moeller, and headed there on a recent Friday afternoon.  


Even if chairs aren't your thing (WHAT?) the museum, which is housed in the restored Nickerson Mansion in Chicago, is worth a visit. The fully restored historic home is bursting at the seams with gorgeous details and rich history. 


But we started upstairs (beneath a killer ceiling) to kickoff our visit with The Art of Seating, an exhibit spanning the progression of the chair from the early 19th Century to the 21st Century.  Our photos don't do the exhibit justice, but it was incredible seeing the evolution of the chair and how some chairs from over 100 years ago look so timeless they would fit in with contemporary decor. 


Like the Wire Seat Side Chair on the left by George Hunzinger, which dates from 1876. The carved detail on the right chair is stunning. 


The chair on the left dates to 1890 from the Appalachian and is constructed from bent willow branches!  Both of these chairs would fit in with the Boho design trend of late. I'm sure Justina Blakeney would approve of both of these in any of her designs! I'm itching to reupholster the one on the left and put it in the corner of a master bedroom.


You know I live for modern design. And the Grasshopper Chair by Eero Saarinen, circa 1946 is it. 


I was torn here which was making me swoon more: the MAF chair by George Nelson OR this wallcovering. The wallcovering may have it because yes those are tigers. The chairs are displayed in a chronological progression over two floors and a handful of rooms each with a historic and ornate backdrop more fabulous than the next. One of the highlights for me was The Act of Sitting Lounge, which has around 8-10 chairs from a variety of eras that you can actually sit in! This included the stunner detailed in the opening photo above, Bertoia's Diamond Chair. 


Beyond The Art of Seating exhibit, the Driehaus Museum is just dripping with eye candy. I nearly lost my mind over some of the details on the first floor, including these handmade tiles above and the impeccably restored stained glass dome below.


The Art of Seating is on display at the Driehaus Musuem through August 12, 2018. I highly recommend a visit, whether you are a local Chicagoan or a tourist.  View their brief video below for a quick overview if the above wasn't enough! Which chair is your favorite?

Thanks to the Driehaus Museum for letting us enjoy this exhibit and space! 

Our admission to the museum was provided at no cost by the Driehaus Museum in exchange for sharing my thoughts online; all opinions are my own. I truly LOVE chairs.

Photos 1 and 3 by Brad Moeller. :)  

Carly MoellerComment