The African Chair, 1921. Photo: Harwig Klappert
Marcel Bruer: a Bauhaus film, 1926. Photo: Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin

Exhibition: "The African Chair" in Berlin

It was believed lost for 80 years, but it has been found and is now being exhibited for the first time: the Bauhaus Archives in Berlin presents the African Chair by Marcel Breuer and Gunta Stölzl from June 16 until October 24, 2004.


The single copy, with its throne-like appearance, was known only from a single black-and-white photograph. Now, with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Art Fund, it has been procured for the collection of the Bauhaus Archives. Marcel Breuer made the chair of painted oak and colored textile covers in collaboration with the weaver Gunta Stölzl in 1921. The painted surfaces and fabric covers, as the title of this piece suggests, evoke African associations. However, there are no statements about its intended function dating from the time it was created. Hence, it is not clear whether the African Chair was intended as a "throne" for the Bauhaus director or as a kind of wedding chair, a symbol for the close relationship between Marcel Breuer and Gunta Stölzl.

The Bauhaus Archives present the chair in connection with other works from the early Bauhaus. In addition, the film released by Marcel Breuer in 1926, which clarifies the development of furniture design at the Bauhaus, is re-enacted: from the African Chair to the tubular steel furniture.


Further information at:



Museum für Gestaltung

Klingelhöferstraße 14

D–10785 Berlin