The Art of Seating
Saturday, December 8, 2018, 10:00AM
Esther B. O’Keeffe Gallery
Open daily through January 20, 2019

Saturday, December 8, 2018 through Sunday, January 20, 2019

Most chairs encountered throughout the day define themselves fairly simply — a place at the family table, a comfortable spot with a great view of the river, a seat of corporate power. When looking at the 43 chairs selected for The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design, however, there is much more to see than simple pieces of furniture. These works of art have compelling stories to tell about American history, the evolution of American design, and incredible artistry and craftsmanship.

The Art of Seating provides audiences with a unique opportunity to see chair types that usually reside in private homes, withheld from public display. The American Chair Collection, the center of this exhibition, is an amazing and comprehensive private collection of iconic and historic chairs reaching back from the mid-1800s to pieces from today’s studio movement. The exhibition provides an opportunity to see readily recognizable pieces alongside those rarely seen by the public. Selections from the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation offer a stylistic journey in furniture with showstoppers by John Henry Belter, George Hunzinger, the Herter Brothers, the Stickley Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, Frank Gehry, and others waiting to be discovered. The exhibition also features contemporary and historic designs by some of the country’s biggest manufacturers such as Knoll, Herman Miller, and Steelcase.

Pictured above: Designed by Warren McArthur, Jr. (1885-1961) Manufactured by Warren McArthur Corp., Rome, New York “Sling Seat Lounge Chair,” c. 1935 Anodized Aluminum, Rubber, Upholstery Photo by Michael Koryta and Andrew VanStyn, Director of Acquisitions, Conservation and Photography

  • Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Admission is $5 | No charge for Four Arts members and children 14 and younger
  • Please note, photography is not permitted
  • The Four Arts is located at 100 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach, Florida. Directions and free parking are available

Audio Tours

We are excited to announce that an audio tour will be available for this exhibit at  The  audio tour is included with the price of gallery admission.

Designed by Thomas E. Warren (active with American Chair Co. 1849-52) Manufactured by the American Chair Co., Troy, New York (1829-1858) “Centripetal Spring Arm Chair,” c. 1850 Photo by Michael Koryta and Andrew VanStyn, Director of Acquisitions, Conservation and Photography

The Art of Seating is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, in collaboration with the Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C.


An Illustrated Lecture

Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 11 a.m.
No charge to attend
Walter S. Gubelmann Auditorium

Diane DeMell Jacobsen, Ph.D. is a distinguished scholar and art collector. Selections from her eponymous foundation are featured in The Art of Seating. The collection is nationally recognized for its depth and breadth of museum-quality, sculpture, and decorative arts.

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