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Rare Scandinavian Finnish Cantilevered Lounge Arm Chair Model 31/42 in Birch by Alvar Aalto for Artek, 1931.

Rare mid-century Finnish lounge chair Model 31/42 by Alvar Aalto, given the rich, deep patina of the chair's wood it appears to be a very early production example. This cantilevered lounge armchair Model 31/42 is a Scandinavian modern design icon by Alvar Aalto. Alvar Aalto (1898 – 1976) is a major architect of the 20th century as well as an influent designer. He is considered as a pioneer in the development of plywood technics. Aalto produced most of his icons during the 20’s and the 30’s, some in the context of large-scale architecture project like the Paimio Sanatorium. The laminated birch frame is in very good vintage condition but shows a gorgeous patina, minimal wear and is structurally sound. From the 1930’s, Alvar Aalto designed many plywood furniture pieces: armchairs, chairs, tables, stools etc., and produced by Artek, that he co-founded in 1935. Alvar Aalto 1898–1976 Born in Kuortane, Finland, in 1898, Alvar Aalto began his formal training studying architecture at the Helsinki University of Technology. It was here that he met his future wife and collaborator, Aino Marsio who was also an architectural student in the program. The two were married in 1924. In 1929, Aalto won a competition to design a new sanatorium in Paimio for patients convalescing from tuberculosis; a total Gesamtkunstwerk, Aalto designed everything at Paimio, from the chairs to the sinks, to create a soothing and sanitary environment for the patients. In 1932, Aalto’s architectural drawings were featured in the landmark Modern Architecture: International Exhibition which was curated by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock and included the latest architectural innovations from around the globe. In 1935, Alvar and Aino Aalto, Nils-Gustav Hahl, and Maire Gullichsen formed the design company, Artek. In addition to a focus on practicality, the work of Artek is marked by its use of light-colored woods, organic forms, and biomorphic lines. Though, many of Aalto’s designs were imbued with playful elements like zebra prints and reindeer fur or bright pops of colored paint on the seats of his three-legged stools. In 1936, Aalto won the Karhula-Iittala Glass Design Competition for the flowing and animated shape of his glass vase design and the following year he was invited to design the Finnish Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Paris. His organic pavilion design won him international acclaim, and it led to a large retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1938. Later in his architectural career, Aalto would take on urban planning with his designs for the city centers of Seinäjoki and Rovaniemi in Finland. Aalto passed away in 1976, but he is renowned for his objects and buildings that combined the modernist style with an outstanding and authentic Finnish aesthetic.

Manufacturer: Artek
Designer: Alvar Aalto
Dimensions (SH = Seat Height, where applicable): 23 3/4"W x 29 1/2"D x 24 1/2"H x 15 3/4"SH
Materials: Birch
Country of Origin: Finland
Price: $9500

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