Barcelona Chair Designed as a Throne

Barcelona Chair - Brno city Museum/Petr Dvorak
Barcelona Chair – Brno city Museum/Petr Dvorak

The Barcelona chair is one of the best things the German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed. It is admired for using industrial materials to make a work of high art.

Designed as a Throne

Formerly a throne, the Barcelona chair has a unique history. Mies’s most famous furniture design was created with Sergius Ruegenberg for King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain to rest on during the opening ceremonies for the German Pavilion at the World Exposition in Barcelona in 1929 in the luxurious colour of white. King Alfonso was overthrown and banished by Spanish Republicans two years later. However, the Barcelona chair has endured both the conditions of its invention and its era, never going out of production since. Additionally, the variant that the Museum of Modern Art ordered features the Barcelona chair in its original white colour. However, the Barcelona chair is Emerald green and displayed at the Brno city Museum in the Czech Republic.

Most Beautiful Chair of the 20th Century

The Barcelona Chair’s fortunes have changed over time. Early in the 1960s, architects who didn’t want to follow the crowd stampeded to give away their once-prized Barcelona. In the 1980s, the 1950s and the chair were once again in style. However, other pieces of Mies furniture, such as the crisscross-legged glass coffee table he created for a Czech count (although it is always referred to as the Barcelona table), the Brno chair that architect Philip Johnson selected for the Four Seasons restaurant, and the tubular steel side chair with continuous leather or cane seat and back that almost no well-dressed dining room can do without had become so prevalent in such a wide range of settings that Arthur Drexler, MOMA’s The Barcelona chair, in his opinion, is the “most beautiful chair of the 20th century.”(Newsday (Nassau Edition) 20 Feb 1986, Page 184 –, n.d.)


Newsday (Nassau Edition) 20 Feb 1986, Page 184 – (n.d.). Newsday (Nassau Edition) 20 Feb 1986, page 184 – Retrieved April 1, 2023, from

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