While Chris was in Greenville for Auctioneers School, my mother and I took Lily to the Columbia Museum of Art for the first time. What may have proved to be a daunting endeavor for an almost three year old, showed itself to be a pleasant and cultural field trip. Another bonus for those that are not aware - the Museum is open to the public for FREE on Sundays!
The featured exhibit was The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design. It presents the history, innovation and construction of American chair design. Curated from a private collection, this exhibit showcases important works from the 1800s to the present. I was very excited to see the exhibit since it featured an antique horn chair, similar to the one that we brought to the Antiques Roadshow in Myrtle Beach.
The Art of Seating is a wonderful exhibit. It is "is the first comprehensive exhibition of American chair design in the history of the Museum and serves as a complement and a contrast to the popular exhibition of international chair design — One Hundred Masterpieces from the Vitra Design Museum Collection — held in 1999.
Hailing from the Jacobsen Collection of American Art, the exhibition documents the rich and varied evolution of American design, illustrating the emergence of new technologies and materials, changes in consumer preferences, and social and cultural developments. Designed for function, each of these sculptural works possesses a unique story." - Columbia Museum of Art
The exhibit had many unique pieces, all in pristine condition. Lily was inspired by all of the chairs and wanted to take a load off. Unfortunately, Lily and her momma were rule breakers and got in a wee bit of trouble for sitting to close to the display and taking pictures. Opps. While you can take pictures throughout the museum, you are asked to refrain from photography in the touring exhibits.
Oh well...I was just inches from the horn chair when I was busted by the museum police. We did not let it break our spirits though!
Onward we went, exploring the rest of the exhibit and the museum. I was determined to find examples of the horn chair that was on exhibit in this show. Surprisingly enough, the gift shop had a great coloring book for children for only $5 that had information on the history of the pieces and a complete collection of pictures from the chairs on display.
History of the Horn Chair
In the late 19th century, an immigrant named Wenzel Friedrich designed the first horn chair. He settled in the San Antonia area and was inspired by the Texan Longhorn steer. His chairs featured glass ball feet, acorn finials, and an element of the Texas Star. This chair stood out in the exhibit for being very unique and ahead of its time in design. Wenzel Friedrich was one of the principle manufacturers of longhorn furniture in America.
In addition, some examples of antique horn chairs were found in such reputable auctions as Christie's:
Here is a picture of the Horn Chair on exhibit.
The Art of Seating at the Columbia Museum of Art through August 26th.
I encourage you to attend this exhibit. It is a wonderful example of how good design transcends time.
If you miss the show, you can find another example of an antique horn chair in the general part of the museum.
For more information about the Columbia Museum of Art: Click Here.