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The Westport Chair by Thomas Lee for Harry Bunnell, 1904

Profoundly innovative and original, the ‘Westport’ Adirondack chair a century after its introduction remains a tribute to the creativity of Americas’ indigenous designers/craftsmen. Named after the rural town in New York state’s Adirondack region close to where it was first conceived, the Westport chair embodies the progressive principals of the emerging American Arts & Crafts movement of simplicity, honesty of construction, absence of extraneous ornament, and a form without precedent from the past that eschews stylistic historicism. The chair’s juxtaposition of compound angles and intersecting planes softened by the curves of its wide paddle arms provides an interesting aesthetic for the eye and a relaxed comfort while seated. Authoritative articles on Adirondack furniture state the original generations of the Westport chair were available in ‘green or a medium dark brown’, signed, and made by Harry Bunnell of Westport, NY from around the time of its patent application (1904) to the end of the 1920s. Both chairs bear the impressed, original maker’s mark on the reverse of the back rest. An interesting ancillary note, the prescient, original design of the Westport chair pre-dates the evocative work of Gerritt Rietveld’s Crate furniture which followed three decades later in the 1930s.

Designed by Thomas Lee, 1904

Made by Harry Bunnell, 1910s

Materials: Wood

Colors: Orange, Red

Dimensions: 39.5"W 39.5"D 37.25"H 24.5"Arm 16"Seat


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