Saturday, October 31, 2009

The waiting room

                                            Commercial seating by Charles Eames (c. 1962)

Originally I acquired these chairs from a Greyhound Bus Depot that was moving to a new location, there were at least 20 sets that were left, they lined the walls of the cavernous room, once a huge auto showroom. The person in charge of the move was in disbelief that anyone would actually want to buy them. He said that he had to phone corporate headquarters, I gave him a deposit, 2 weeks later I got a call to come and pick them up.

So it goes, I had them in my house (prior to being married) and it was just great.  I sat in them a total of five minutes. Excellent party chairs.

When my future bride first arrived at my small studio, the chairs were
just there,  innocuous and  benign, being loved just being by Eames.

But then it happened, it was mentioned that sitting in these chairs one starts to feel anxiety starting, and maybe becomes a bit impatient, like your waiting for something to arrive. 
I was asked if I had taken a large clock off the adjacent wall, and also if I had any issues of Domus that were more current. Then it was actually said, "I feel like I'm in a waiting room"

How could this be?
Look at the chairs, the details, the amount of thought that went into the castings for the legs, the 'T' section of steel that is used as the common mounting point for all 4 chairs, the elegant economy of the design, the sheer functionality of them, relegated to mere common "waiting room furniture".................... could another Architect actually not see the beauty in these?   Is it just understood by Americans???

SO.............. It happens that the chairs have followed us around the country for four moves, always being assembled lovingly wherever we moved, and within two weeks, under great pressure, making the journey back into storage.

Until today......... They were carried to and assembled in the old studio, which is for sale, since it was decided that the studio is to be a showroom for furniture that is being made, and for vintage pieces that we have acquired. (due to the lack in interest in anyone buying it)
About an hour after the chairs were 'set up", the other half of Sky Architects stopped by with an entourage of friends.... Super!

The discussion turned to why the house hasn't sold, "it has to have furniture in it", "where do you put the bed?", "is this the dining room", "what do you do in this space?" were the questions shot at me. "you cant just have expanses of space, with nothing on the walls and no furniture",
"you have to make it cosy", "it has to be staged" "I know someone who could do it for $2,000"

But the final comment, that I was surprised had not started the conversation was,
"and get rid of these orange chairs, you need a cosy sofa here" The record was broken, they lasted 1 hour and 10 minutes.

I know of a auction house in Paris that deals with pieces like this, France is sometimes the only place to go.

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  1. oh, I need a set JUST like this for my waiting room!

  2. i have them in my laundromat and I am looking for replacement sits so they look new can not find them any

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