Mark
Folding Table on Casters (model T702)
Sweden, 1944
Bruno Mathsson

Firma Karl Mathsson
Lacquered birch, ash, and nickel-plated steel
25 x 40 x 16"


Bruno Mathsson (1907–1988) was a Swedish furniture designer and architect whose ideas aligned with functionalism, modernism, as well as old Swedish crafts tradition.

Mathsson was raised in the town of Värnamo in the Småland region of Sweden, the son of a master cabinet maker. After a short time of education in school, he started to work in his father's gallery. He soon found a great interest in furniture and especially chairs, their function and design. In the 1920s and 30s he developed a techniques for building bentwood chairs with hemp webbing. The first model, called the Grasshopper, was used at Värnamo Hospital in 1931.

Edgar Kaufmann Jr., director of the Industrial Design Department at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), collected Mathsson's chairs and included them in several exhibitions in the 1940s. Kaufmann considered Mathsson's importance in furniture design on par with that of Alvar Aalto. Kaufmann and his family also had a Mathsson chair at their house Fallingwater.

Mathsson was also an accomplished architect; he completed about 100 structures in the 1940s and 50s. He was the first architect in Sweden to build all-glass structures with heated floors. His furniture showroom in Värnamo (1950) was a significant example; it is well-preserved and open to the public today. For his glass houses, he developed double- and triple-pane insulated glass units called "Bruno-Pane."

He traveled extensively in the United States and was strongly influenced by the solar houses of George Fred Keck. Mathsson's architecture was also influenced by a visit to the Eames House by Charles and Ray Eames in March 1949 just as it was being completed. —Wiki





(Photo: MoMA)