Mid-Century Gideon Kramer Ion Desk Chair
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Gideon Kramer Ion Desk Chair - Walnut, Gold, Chrome and Beige With Rolling Wheels (c 1960s)
This is an extremely rare ... moreGideon Kramer Ion Desk Chair - Walnut, Gold, Chrome and Beige With Rolling Wheels (c 1960s)
This is an extremely rare custom version of the Ion Desk Chair; few were made with the combination of walnut wood arms, rolling wheels and the detailed chrome on the support. One wheel needs minor repair on caster, some scratches on walnut arms from normal wear.
Kramer's probable greatest claim to fame was his famous and award-winning ION chair. An icon of mid-century modern furniture design, the ultra-ergonomic chair was a result of his philosophic approach to design. As Kramer told The Seattle Times in 1966, the design came about because he simply viewed the act of sitting as a "dynamic rather than static condition."
The classic chair's origins trace back to 1946 when Kramer helped design an elementary school building and then -- after being charged with specifying furniture to be included -- "I became aware of the requirements as well as deficiencies of seating and decided to see if I could do better," and "the chair took its form from the process which it was intended to support." His first examples "were fabricated out of Vulcanized Fiber, with the simplest of tooling. Soaked in our bathtub, formed on a wood fixture, baked over the living room stove, hung on a wash line to be sprayed with a resin finish," it was initially "a low tech family enterprise" (Kramer, 1999).
By 1947 Kramer's remarkable ION chairs began to gain serious attention. New York's Museum of Modern Art included one in its Fourteen Americans exhibit and also acquired some for their children's section. Years passed and Kramer got involved in many other projects, but when planning began for Seattle's Century 21 World's Fair of 1962, he was ready with an improved version -- one whose sleek and minimalist lines were in perfect sync with the futuristic zeitgeist of that period. Anyone who visited the fair's Space Needle Restaurant would likely have been tickled to have a seat in the ION units that looked and felt like something designed for NASA space travel.
Kramer's use of new shapes and advanced materials -- a smooth molded fiberglass shell set upon a chromed metal base -- was at once purposeful, impressive, and incredibly complex. "The engineering concept of this chair," he wrote, "was so unique that it formed the basis for a mechanical patent" (Kramer, 1999). One patent application revealed the technological challenges behind such a chair, stating that it was an "L-shaped, molded plastic shell comprising a seat portion and a back portion, both joined by an integral concavoconvex nonflanged waist portion [which] is provided with stiffening structure medial of the waist portion" (Molded Chair Patent 3583759).
*Has slight damage to one wheel* Seat height is 17.5" less
- 23ʺW × 20ʺD × 33ʺH
- Mid-Century Modern
- Gideon Kramer
- Condition Notes
- Good - Moderate wear and tear, but still has good years left Good - Moderate wear and tear, but still has good years left less
Adam D. in Seattle, WA
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