Modern. The word means different things to different people. But how did the concept of modern in the arts originate and develop? The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam presents MODERN — Van Gogh, Rietveld, Léger and others; 200 artists who were innovative in their time and helped lay the foundations for what we now know as modern. With over 300 works from as many as 20 movements, from realism and impressionism to Dada, from Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau to Bauhaus and De Stijl, the exhibition takes a fresh look at internationally known names and highlights many lesser-known makers.
The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has a wide selection of Thonet furniture in its permanent collection. Thonet also played an important role in Modern design. Rein Wolfs, director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: “The Stedelijk’s rich design collection is already home to a distinguished ensemble of around sixty Thonet designs, from the early bentwood and steel tube furniture created between 1920 and 1930, to contemporary designs in wood and steel. The Stedelijk is an ideal place to present the story of design, from historical pieces that inspire other generations to contemporary design objects. And that context is of exceptional value.”
In the world of design, resistance to the many cheap, copied neo-styles emerged in the mid-nineteenth century – designers of the English Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau, therefore, revert to traditional craftsmanship. On the other hand, designers actually embraced modern techniques and new materials, such as steel, cast iron, and pressed glass. The nineteenth century was a turning point, a time of industrialization, new materials and new techniques in tune with their own time. The history of Thonet is closely linked to these developments and has shaped the history of modern design.
Several design icons by Thonet are therefore on display in the exhibition MODERN - Van Gogh, Rietveld, Léger and others: chair Nr. 14 designed by Michael Thonet in 1859, rocking chair Nr. 1, designed by Thonet in 1860, Lounge chair B 3, designed by Marcel Breuer between 1925-1928 and chair B 32 designed by Marcel Breuer/Mart Stam in 1928 or 1929. In the theater room of the exhibition you will find Thonet furniture from the current collection, chair 209 and table 1809, inviting visitors to take rest and engage with the exhibition.
Thonet supports the exhibition as a sponsor in kind.