Revolving Armchair
France, 1928
Charlotte Perriand

Thonet Frères
Chrome-plated tubular steel and leather
29¾ x 22 x 21¼", seat h. 21⅝"

"Clutching a portfolio of drawings, I found myself face-to-face one October afternoon in 1927 with Le Corbusier's horn-rimmed spectacles. The austere office was somewhat intimidating, and his greeting rather frosty.

'What do you want?' he asked, his eyes hooded by his glasses.

'To work with you.'

He glanced quickly through my drawings. 'We don't embroider cushions here,' he replied, and showed me the door."

—Charlotte Perriand, Une Vie de creation (A life of creation), 1998

Following this incident, after viewing her designs for the 1927 Salon d'Automne, Le Corbusier hired Perriand, and she worked in his Paris studio for ten years. She immediately set to work on a series of furniture designs that were introduced to the public at the 1929 Salon d’Automne in Paris. In this design, partly inspired by an office swivel chair, Perriand softened the rigidity of the tubular frame with a stuffed cushion resting on coil springs. Because the frame and the upholstery required considerable handwork, the chair was relatively expensive and manufactured in limited numbers. —MoMA

(Photo: MoMA)