“Paimio” chair Alvar Aalto 1930–31, manufactured 1935–40

From the collection of
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Curved bent birch plywood seat joined to frame composed of ribbon-like curved, laminated bent birch elements forming legs/arms; form reinforced by solid birch cross pieces at curled ends of back and seat, and at at rear legs.

Title: “Paimio” chair
Creator: Alvar Aalto
Date Created: Designed 1930–31, manufactured ca. 1935–40
Provenance: Chair “descended in a family from Helsinki”; Aero Design Furniture Oy, Helsinki, Finland.
Markings: Number “27” stamped on the underside of each runner.
Exhibitions: New York, NY, Cooper-Hewitt, “Curators Select: Recent Acquisitions 2003-2008,” 9/12/08-3/1/09
Dimensions: H x W x D: 65.5 x 60.5 x 81.3 cm (25 13/16 x 23 13/16 x 32 in. )
Type: Armchair
Rights: Museum purchase through gift of Linda and Irwin Berman and from General Acquisitions Endowment Fund
Medium: Bent birch plywood, solid birch

Alvar Aalto

Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto (Feb 3, 1898 – May 11, 1976) was a Finnish architect and designer, as well as a sculptor and painter His work includes architecture, furniture, textiles and glassware Aalto’s early career runs in parallel with the rapid economic growth and industrialization of Finland

During the first half of the twentieth century and many of his clients were industrialists; among these were the Ahlström-Gullichsen family The span of his career, from the 1920s to the 1970s, is reflected in the styles of his work, ranging from Nordic Classicism of the early work, to a rational International Style Modernism during the 1930s to a more organic modernist style from the 1940s onwards His furniture designs were considered Scandinavian Modern What is typical for his entire career, however, is a concern for design as a Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art; whereby he – together with his first wife Aino Aalto – would design not just the building, but give special treatments to the interior surfaces and design furniture, lamps, and furnishings and glassware The Alvar Aalto Museum, designed by Aalto himself, is located in what is regarded as his home city Jyväskylä.