Vitra Design Museum – Schaudepot
from 19 October 2018 to 17 February 2019
The exhibition Seats of Power – and Those Who Sit narrates the way chairs have always been associated with expressions of power across history.
The origin of the modern chair, in fact, dates back to the thrones of ancient times.
For a long period chairs were only for rulers, the upper echelons of the society, and the situation did not change until the rise of the middle classes. With the advent of industrial furniture production in the 19th century chairs finally became affordable for the entire population, though their connection with power is still clear nowadays.
The exhibition Seats of Power at the Vitra Schaudepot explores this theme through about 20 pieces from the museum’s collections, shedding light on how political, social and economic power continues to be represented by furniture made for sitting.
What emerges is a cultural history of modern seating: from authoritarian and patriarchal principles to egalitarian values of participation.