Chairs by Josef Frank

Chairs by Josef Frank

Discover Svenskt Tenn's exhibition "Chairs by Josef Frank" and see the digital opening.

Shown at Strandvägen 5 08.02.2021 – 14.03.2021

Josef Frank had his own philosophy regarding how to design a comfortable chair. It should not be the centre of attention, nor should it be regarded solely as a seat, but rather exist to serve a higher purpose. In the first exhibition of the year on Strandvägen 5, Svenskt Tenn highlights this everyday but noteworthy piece of furniture. The full breadth of Josef Frank’s chair design is exhibited along with three new Josef Frank chairs, launched from the historical archive.

“Anyone who regards a chair as a piece of furniture just to sit on will always sit uncomfortably. You sit on a chair to do something else – to work or to eat at a table, and you leave the chair as fast as you can. A chair is comfortable for its purpose if you don’t tire too fast, that is if the chair adapts to every position you want. I myself never sit on a chair that is designed for a single position. I want to be able to sit in different ways on different occasions and at different times of the day.”

– Josef Frank

Chairs by Josef Frank Svenskt Tenn
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Chair 1179 was designed by Josef Frank in 1947. At that time he had just returned from his stay in America and started working with Larsson Korgmakare (Larsson Basketmakers) in Stockholm. The chair is inspired by historical, Egyptian design and is handmade in leather, mahogany and rattan. The curvature of the seat is reminiscent of the dining chairs belonging to Josef Frank’s sister Hedwig Tedesko. The chair has been displayed, among other places, in two National Museum exhibitions in Stockholm: Josef Frank – 20 years at Svenskt Tenn in 1952 and Josef Frank – Memorial Exhibition in 1968.

"A CHAIR SHOULD BE SO LIGHT THAT IT CAN BE LIFTED WITH ONE FINGER." - Josef Frank
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“A good chair is comfortable, small, light, moveable.” - Josef Frank
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Josef Frank designed Chair 930 in the 1940s, with the idea of creating a piece of furniture that would accompany a make-up table in the bedroom: like a smaller club armchair with high legs. Today it is manufactured at O.H. Sjögrens furniture factory in Tranås, which has been manufacturing upholstered furniture for Svenskt Tenn since 1982.

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Josef Frank designed several bentwood chairs in the late 1920s, some of which were produced for Thonet-Mundus AG in Vienna. The bentwood P4 chair’s original sketch has been preserved in Svenskt Tenn’s archive and has probably never been produced until now. Its lattice back and turned spindles give it a light and airy look.

“If you are to sit well on a chair it must have a rather complicated shape.” - Josef Frank
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The exhibition on Strandvägen 5

Chairs by Josef Frank Svenskt Tenn