When you hear the words 'Parsons Chairs' you may have a picture of a church in your head. Maybe these chairs belonged to a parson in days of old and had been a part of their official furniture setting? Perhaps they were created as a very religious piece of church furniture? It sounds great, but is nothing near the truth. Instead, they are really just some pieces that were created in a fashion design school.
The fashion design school where the chair was created was the Parsons School of Design in Paris. So, it was not named for any great church event, but rather for the school where it was created.
The designers of the school were working on altering chairs into a fashionable form in the 1930s. The Parsons chair is most similar to an upholstered dining chair. They went through many other chair designs from throughout history and compared the good and bad traits of all of those chairs. Then, instead of creating something that was the same as all the other chairs we've seen on the market, they invented a chair that showed off all the positive traits of chairs past, and tossed out all the bad traits.
The materials used in the creation of these chairs are almost always hardwoods. They will have a backrest that has a slight curve that will be matched by a subtle curve in the legs. Even though hardwoods were used in these chairs, the wood portions were rarely seen in the early days of their design. Instead they were covered with slipcovers that were upholstered to complement the color scheme of the environment they were to be put in.
The completed design was what modern furniture is really all about. Finding the best way to make a piece of furniture perform its function and then creating a form that is most conducive to that job. Modern designs are usually simple and elegant.
But now you may be wondering what kind of table these chairs go with. Well initially Parsons Chairs were going to be matched with the Parsons table, which only made sense. They had similar architecture and design features. But as often happens in the design world, when the initial design got out, others took it and built off it creating their own pieces. Somehow the Parsons Chairs and Parsons Tables seemed to go their own separate ways and were able to be purchased separately.
It may have been the simplicity of the Parsons Chairs and tables that are to blame for this, since they were so simple in design, yet so functional in form, they were easy to adapt to a number of other furniture styles. Some of those adaptations include adding a little romance, into a design that was supposed to be so modern, by attaching cabriole legs or ornate arm rests.
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Article Added on Wednesday, March 12, 2008
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