Wharton Esherick, ‘Pair of Side Chairs’, 1958, Sotheby's: Important Design
Wharton Esherick, ‘Pair of Side Chairs’, 1958, Sotheby's: Important Design

From the Catalogue:

Upon installation of their new Esherick dining table (lot 339) in their home, the Rubinsons determined their existing dining chairs were disharmonious with the organic-shaped table and commissioned the artist to create complementary chairs. Esherick's design for the chairs was an adaptation of his 1942 chair design for the Schutte-Koerting commission in Cornwall Heights, Pennsylvania. Its refined form and simple, well-crafted construction were groundbreaking. One such "SK" Chair is currently in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

—Courtesy of Sotheby's

Signature: each signed and dated - W - E - - - - 1958 -

Mansfield Bascom, Wharton Esherick: The Journey of a Creative Mind, New York, 2010, pp. 181 (for a discussion of the "SK" Chair design), 198-200 (for a discussion and illustration of the present lot)

Commissioned directly from the artist by Nat and Rose Rubinson
Thence by descent to the present owner

About Wharton Esherick

Called the “Dean of American Craft,” Wharton Esherick bridged the gap between the Arts and Crafts movement and the resurgence of interest in woodwork with the Studio Craft movement that started in the 1960s. He began his career as a painter, but by the 1920s turned to wood, first making frames and woodcuts, and later, furniture. By realizing that furniture does not need decoration and creating minimal organic shapes in hand-carved wood instead, he paved the way for much of modernism. His old studio/residence in Paoli, Pennsylvania is a National Historic Landmark for Architecture and a museum dedicated to his work.

American, 1887-1970, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania