Cool New Museum Exhibit: A Tour of Chairs

It's a bit of a ride from New Tampa, but the Tampa Museum of Art is presenting "A Hundred Years - A Hundred Chairs" through Sept. 16.


It's one of those pieces of furniture most of us take for granted, unless, of course, we're exhausted and we can't find one around.

But the Tampa Museum of Art is offering an entirely new way of looking at the ubiquitous chair, a furnishing that's most likely been around since caveman times.

In the exhibit, "A Hundred Years - A Hundred ChairsMasterworks from the Vitra Design Museum," on display now through Sept. 16, museum visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about the history of chair design and how it's evolved over the century.

Assembled from the expansive holdings of one of the world’s foremost design museums, this exhibition allows visitors to consider the aesthetic, technological and manufacturing concerns expressed through the design of the chair.

The exhibition begins in the last decades of the 19th century with curved wooden furniture that lent itself to mass production. It was the introduction of the mass-produced object that changed the course of subsequent design. At the outset of the 20th century, design played a significant role in cultural development.

Gerrit Rietveld, for instance, designed furniture with simple lines, while Marcel Breuer created the first tubular steel chairs. This lightness in shape was subsequently a source of inspiration for Alvar Aalto, who was the first to use plywood, and for Jean Prouvé, who started to use techniques and materials that had previously only been used by the aeronautical industry.

Check out this exhibit and get a whole new perspective on chairs.


  • Museum hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Tampa Museum of Art is located in downtown Tampa on the Hillsborough River at 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza.
  • General admission for adults is $10; seniors, military and Florida educators $7.50, students pay $5 and children ages 6 and under are admitted for free.


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