- Designer: Unknown
- Maker: Modernica
- Origin/Circa: Los Angeles, USA, 1948
- Dimensions: 18" W, 16" D, 16" H
- Materials: Fiberglass
Easily one of the most important and recognizable designs of the twentieth century. The Fiberglass Shell Chairs were originally designed in 1948, as an entry in The Museum of Modern Art’s International Design Competition.
In the early fifties, fiberglass was considered an ultra-high tech material. Produced with a mixture of resin and glass fibers, it was lightweight, yet heavy-duty.
As for the chair bases, they were cleverly designed to provide a number of leg options that would be interchangeable within and between the arm shell and the side shell.
The shell chairs were first available in the spring of 1950. The first runs of the chairs were produced in only three colors; griege, elephant-hide gray, and parchment—all of which had interesting translucent qualities. The chairs were distributed until 1983.
In 2000, Modernica revived this potentially lost art of high-pressure, molded fiberglass. Modernica creates each shell, by hand, one-by-one, in their Los Angeles factory—just as they had been designed, developed, and produced in Southern California in the 1950s. Modernica uses all of the original presses and specialized equipment obtained from Century Plastics.
Modernica creates each chair with the charge of adhering to the original tactile qualities, texture, and characteristics that alone are unique to the fiberglass shell chair.
To ensure authenticity of production, the initial shell chair production was overseen by Sol Fingerhut and Irv Green, the same team employed over sixty years ago to develop the original technology.
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