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An exhibition of miniatures – 100 Classical Seats

No piece of furniture has attracted the attention of designers, architects and artists alike as has the chair. The chair is closely related to the shape of the human body, it is the depiction of our body and has arms, legs, feet and a back. The chair has assumed a key role in the history of design – as an experimental object, as the motor driving new developments forwards and as an icon. It has long since advanced from being an everyday utilitarian object to attain the status of an artistic event.

In the exhibition, which will be held at Fort St. Elmo as part of Malta Design Week 2014, 100 miniatures of classical seats convey the significance of design and the role it plays in the industrial production process. These classical chairs, exact 1:6 replicas of the originals, are presented on plinths in an elegant installation. The exhibition is accompanied by 40 wall-mounted panels comprising photographs, original drawings and time-lines. An integral component of the exhibition is a booklet which guides the observer through the world of chairs and provides detailed descriptions of each exhibit.

Chairs that have taken their place in history

Since 1992, the chair miniatures produced by the Vitra Design Museum have earned a deserved reputation as high-quality, true-to-scale collectors’ items. The Miniatures Collection, which is meant for sales purposes, meanwhile comprises more than 80 models; by contrast, 100 prototypes of classical seats dating from between approx.
1800 and 1990 have been developed for the exhibition.

In our exhibition, viewer’s attention is directed towards the perfectly crafted trueto-scale character of the miniatures. It is visually easy to grasp a chair as a miniature, its proportions stand out even more distinctly than in the original object. The concentrated, clearly-defined world of the miniatures helps viewers find their bearings in the manifold styles of contemporary design.
Chairs provide us with information on social connections, on the age in which they were created as well as on those manners of sitting which are considered exemplary.

In our exhibition, the chairs are considered not as isolated phenomena but are placed firmly in their cultural and historical context. Reproduced documents from the archive of the Vitra Design Museum illustrate the path of development of the seats from the first draft via production to their actual use.

Exhibition objects

100 miniature chairs – exact 1:6 scale replicas of the originals.


Each object has been positioned on a pyramid-shaped plinth and positioned inside a Plexiglas cube using a magnet. The size of the cube is 25 x 25 x 25 cm. Each plinth is made of white varnished fiberglass, is 127 cm high and has a base of 40 x 40 cm.

Educational aspects

The history of furniture design from 1800 to 1990 is presented in terms of nine groups. Each group is described in an introductory text. Furthermore, faithful reproductions of drawings, photographs and catalogues are exhibited. A time-line provides background information on social, political, economic and artistic developments during each epoch. A color-coding system ensures easy orientation in the exhibition.

Exhibition area

Depending on the layout, the exhibition takes up an area of 140 to 400 sq. m. Various layouts are possible, ensuring the exhibition can be adapted to the size and dimensions of the respective venue. The exhibition can be laid out as a square (e.g. consisting of 10 x 10 units) or as a room divider in one long row or according to groups.

Wall area

Wall panels, reproductions of original documents, and time-lines are all presented in flat aluminum frames. For the documentation, which can be subdivided into nine groups, approx. 35 running meters of wall space are required.


The exhibition has been specially designed to ensure a low transport volume and easy handling. The exhibition is packed into thirteen crates: eight for the plinths, four crates for the Plexiglas cubes including the exhibits, and one crate for the framed documentation. The transport volume amounts to approx. 20 cubic meters.

Mounting and dismounting

The complete installation is delivered together with the exhibition. If lighting, wall and spatial conditions have been well prepared, the exhibition can be assembled in as little as one and a half days.

Accompanying products

The Miniatures Collection as well as publications and other articles for your museum shop can be acquired at reasonable conditions. We should be pleased to provide you with a separate offer.


Miniatures Exhibition – Exhibition objects

Group 1 (up to 1900)

1 Windsor Chair, anonymous, beginning of the 19th century
2 Michael Thonet, Boppard Chair, approx. 1836
3 Shaker Chair, anonymous, approx. 1840
4 Michael Thonet, Chair No. 14, 1859–60
5 Chair from bent iron, anonymous, approx. 1865
6 Rocking Chair No. 9, Jakob and Josef Kohn, approx. 1882–83
7 Henry Van de Velde, Chair for “Bloemenwerf House”, 1895
8 Adolf Loos, Chair for the Café Museum, around 1898

Group 2 (1900 to 1920)

9 Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Hill House Chair, 1903
10 Thomas Lee, Westport Chair, 1903
11 Chair No. 511, Gebr. Thonet, 1905
12 Josef Hoffmann, No. 728, Fledermaus (Bat), 1905
13 Josef Hoffmann, Sitzmaschine (Sitting Machine), approx. 1905
14 Josef Hoffmann, Chair No. 371, 1905–6
15 Otto Wagner, Chair for the Viennese Post Office Savings Bank, 1905
16 Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House Chair, 1908
17 Vlastislav Hofman, PUD-Chair, 1911–12
18 Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Roodblauwe Stoel, 1918

Group 3 (1921 to 1930)

19 Frank Lloyd Wright, Peacock Chair, 1921–22
20 Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Militaire Stoel, 1923
21 Marcel Breuer, Wassily, 1925
22 Mart Stam, W1, 1926
23 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, MR 20, 1927
24 Heinz and Bodo Rasch, Sitzgeiststuhl, 1927
25 Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Beugel Stoel, 1927
26 Marcel Breuer, Cesca, 1928
27 Le Corbusier, Jeanneret, Perriand, Siège tournant, 1928
28 Le Corbusier, Jeanneret, Perriand, Fauteuil à dossier basculant, 1928
29 Le Corbusier, Jeanneret, Perriand, Chaise longue à réglage continu, 1928
30 René Herbst, Chaise Sandows, 1928–29
31 Marcel Breuer, B 35, 1928–29
32 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Chair, 1929
33 Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Brno Chair, 1929

Group 4 (1931 to 1940)

34 Alvar Aalto, Paimio Chair, 1930–31
35 Hans and Wassili Luckhardt, ST 14, 1931
36 Marcel Breuer, Lounge Chair No. 313, 1932
37 Gerald Summers, Plywood Chair, 1933–34
38 Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Zig-Zag Stoel, 1932–34
39 Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Krat Stoel, 1934
40 Guiseppe Terragni, Scagno, 1935–36
41 Hans and Wassili Luckhardt, Siesta Medizinal, 1936
42 Alvar Aalto, Lounge Chair No. 39, 1936
43 Jacques André, Garden Chair, 1936
44 Hans Coray, Landi, 1938
45 Grupo Austral, Hardoy Chair, 1938

Group 5 (1941 to 1950)

46 Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, Organic Armchair, 1940
47 Jens Risom, Armchair No. 654 W, 1941–42
48 Charles and Ray Eames, LCW, 1945
49 H. V. Thaden, Plywood Chair, 1947
50 Charles and Ray Eames, RAR, 1948
51 Jean Prouvé, Antony, 1950

Group 6 (1951 to 1960)

52 Charles and Ray Eames, DKR, 1951
53 André Bloc, Bellevue, 1951
54 Mathieu Matégot, Nagasaki, 1952
55 Gio Ponti, Superleggera, 1951–57
56 Harry Bertoia, Diamond Chair, 1952
57 Charlotte Perriand, Ombre, 1953–55
58 Sori Yanagi, Butterfly, 1954
59 Willy Guhl, Garden Chair, 1954
60 Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni, Mezzadro, 1954–57
61 Arne Jacobsen, No. 3107, 1955
62 George Nelson, Coconut Chair, 1955
63 George Nelson, Marshmallow, 1956
64 Charles and Ray Eames, Lounge Chair, 1956
65 Eero Saarinen, No. 151, Tulip Chair, 1956
66 Verner Panton, K 3, 1958
67 Charles and Ray Eames, Alu Chair, 1958
68 Marco Zanuso, Richard Sapper, Lambda, 1959–64
69 Verner Panton, Panton Chair, 1959–60

Group 7 (1961 to 1970)

70 David Rowland, 40/4, approx. 1959–64
71 Giandomenico Belotti, Spaghetti, 1962
72 Hans Wegner, 3-benet Skalstol, 1963
73 Joe Colombo, Universale, 1965
74 Gruppo Strum, Pratone, 1966
75 Eero Aarnio, Pastilli, 1967
76 Giancarlo Piretti, Plia, 1968
77 Gaetano Pesce, Donna, 1969
78 Archizoom Associati, Mies, 1969

Group 8 (1971 to 1980)

79 Achille Castiglioni, Primate, 1970
80 Studio 65, Capitello, 1971
81 Frank O. Gehry, Wiggle Side Chair, 1972
82 Luigi Colani, Sitting Device Colani, 1972
83 Gerd Lange, Flex, 1974
84 Alessandro Mendini, Sedia Spaziale, 1975
85 Enzo Mari, Box, 1976
86 Stefan Wewerka, B 1, 1976
87 Mario Bellini, Cab, 1976
88 Robert Venturi, Queen Anne, 1979–84

Group 9 (1981 to 1990)

89 Ettore Sottsass, Seggiolina da Pranzo, 1980
90 Michele De Lucchi, First, 1983
91 Stiletto, Consumer’s Rest, 1983
92 Gaetano Pesce, Greene Street Chair, 1984
93 Andrea Branzi, Animali Domestici, 1985
94 Ron Arad, Well Tempered Chair, 1986
95 André Dubreuil, Spine, 1986
96 Jasper Morrison, Thinking Man‘s Chair, 1986
97 Jasper Morrison, Ply Chair, 1989
98 Frank O. Gehry, Rolf’s Chair, 1990
99 Philippe Starck, W.W. Stool, 1990
100 Philippe Starck, Louis 20, 1991



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