If you came to this page for George Mulhauser you already know
his legacy and extraordinary influence on American design though his practice and his teaching. If you
searched for other terms or simply found the picture intriguing, please read the entire listing which provides
very nice introduction to his work written by his son.
On offer is an Extraordinarily rare icon of modern design: 2 completely original Sultana swivel chairs with unusual original metal bases and the almost-never-seen matching Sultana table. I have been unable to find ANY auction listings for this set in all my sources. Although the Sultana chair with wooden circular base can be found online for $1200.pr and the Sultana desk chair (seemingly identical except for rolling casters, lack of paint and upholstery) IS listed on eBay for $3900 (Buy it now) for ONE chair. An auction record exists for the Sultana desk chair in an LA modern furniture auction but not the price made.
This item is unrestored, with original patina and age-appropriate wear. All the original rubber feet are present. Buyers seeking additional photos should inquire via email, provide direct email address for response and indicate area(s) of interest. Shipping quotes are available on request via email, please give a zip code and tell us if you want the item untouched, dismantled & packed, crated or palletized. If dismantlement, UPS delivery may be possible. Please specify delivery to commercial location with loading dock and.or forklift or residential delivery and advise if you will need delivery via liftgate truck for unloading or inside delivery. If you send your phone number we are happy to answer questions over the phone.
Remembering ‘Mr. Chair®' By Paul Mulhauser
Son of George C. Mulhauser, Jr.
George C. Mulhauser, Jr. was a forward thinking pioneer of mid-century and contemporary furniture design who enjoyed challenging the use of materials and production techniques in his innovative creations, spanning over five decades. In 1953 he was among the first recipients of Pratt Institute’s Industrial Design degree. It was the 50's, a time for forward thinking. He was a forward thinker. His industrious career began as a staff designer in the early glory days of the George Nelson Studio designing furniture for Herman Miller. Here George Mulhauser contributed to the development of Herman Miller’s steel frame cases and in 1955, in his first commercial endeavor at chair design, he created a 20th century classic known as the ‘Coconut Chair’ ( a ) - a foam upholstered shell supported upon three legs which takes its characteristic form by the natural curvatures of its flexible single pentagonal sheet of steel when pulled together into a triangular form ( b ). Later in the 50's he’d develop geometric molded fiberglass chairs for Paul McCobb ( c ) and contributed to the design of an office desk system for Stendig which integrated a novel recessed file system at arms length across the desk surface. He also taught furniture design at Pratt and 3-D design at the Newark School of Fine & Industrial Arts. He understood his customer well - the growing American middle class - as he became a part of it. It wasn’t long after moving his growing family to the exploding suburbs of NYC in 1955, among split level homes and shopping malls, that he began working out of his home studio. His family, neighbors and clients were called upon for fitting and comfort trials – each leaving pertinent anthropometric data scribed on a studio wall for further comparative reference. Through correlated research and experience he achieved a unique understanding of seating relationships ( m ). Here he created the ‘Mr. Chair ® ’ ( d ), the first reclining lounge chair formed from a single sheet - similar in thinking to the 'Coconut Chair' but this time by steam forming veneers into molded plywood ( e ). Manufactured by Plycraft in Lawrence, MA, it was later also produced in Italy for the European market. This success was soon followed by a smaller armchair version aptly referred to as the ‘Jr. Mr. Chair ® ’. ‘Mr. Chair ® ’ became a brand, being associated with a proliferation of his furniture marketed by Directional Industries, NY. His MC 600 series ( f ) was comprised a series of chairs all produced from a single molded shell, the form of which somewhat resembled his earlier steel ‘Coconut Chair’. Unique expandable fixtures were devised to manufacture the curlicue plywood moldings of the ‘Fancy-Free’ line, inspired by a cross-section of a Chambered Nautilus shell ( g ). In the 70’s, he created cast urethane foam designs ( h ) made by Singer in Canada. And another first, in which the urethane foam was cast directly into pre-sewn upholstery placed into the mold, for Directional Industries ( i ). His designs made and sold by Overman AB in Sweden included a one-piece injection molded polypropylene ‘Stack-Chair’ ( j ). Other later designs in tubular steel include the ‘Paper Clip’ chair ( k ) and a variety of contemporary furniture marketed by Design Institute America. All designs began as sketches and evolved through hand fabricated scale models. Nothing was left to chance. Final form and fit were always resolved by hand fabricating full size functional mock-ups ( n ). Hand drafted full size assembly drawings and patterns were prepared documenting final detailing with which he worked closely to resolve the construction of first prototypes with his manufacturers. He enjoyed working from his home studio, close to his supportive wife Mary, with frequent visits and help from his four children - who came to appreciate the education they’d been unaware of receiving. All would enter creative fields. Fond memories remain of veneer sheets soaking in the pool, models left smoldering in the kitchen oven, lovely fumes of molten clay and fiberglass resin permeating the house, and the car that ran away up the front yard while stretching copper tubing. To his credit George never assumed the ‘Mr. Chair’ name. His satisfaction was in the work rather than the pursuit of personal recognition. His thrill came from every next creation. His work ethic was contagious... for his work was his play... the two becoming intertwined and synonymous. George Mulhauser’s seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm ended on February 7, 2002, leaving behind a legacy of creative genius to inspire many generations to come. Paul Mulhauser Son of George C. Mulhauser, Jr. On Dec-08-11 at 18:08:01 PST, seller added the following information:
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