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Marcel Breuer

Hungary (1902–1981)

Marcel Breuer holds a legacy as an accom­plished archi­tect, furni­ture designer, and master of Modernism who pioneered the design of tubular steel furni­ture. During the 1920s, an 18-year-old Breuer enrolled at the Bauhaus in Germany, where his curricu­lum was equally focused on visual art as it was concerned with tech­nol­ogy and indus­trial produc­tion. Four years later he had become one of its main teach­ers. In charge of its furni­ture section, Breuer encour­aged students to look at how furni­ture and furnish­ing could be indus­tri­ally manu­fac­tured, tack­ling the rela­tive tech­no­log­i­cal and styl­is­tic prob­lems with a thor­ough and methodological approach. 

During this time, Breuer became acquainted with modern archi­tects Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, and Mies van der Rohe, all of whom would heavily influ­ence his work. By 1935, Breuer had estab­lished a repu­ta­tion as a sought-after designer, known for his steel furni­ture and the Wassily chair, so named after its produc­tion due to an anec­do­tal connec­tion to Kandin­sky (who had admired the design and commis­sioned a dupli­cate for his home). Upon WWII, Breuer followed Gropius to London, moved on to teach archi­tec­ture at Harvard Univer­sity, and later estab­lished his own New York-based firm and designed the Whitney Museum.

Designs by Marcel Breuer (1)