Hans Wegner Chairs: The “Presidential Chair”

Let’s start this article by clarifying that what we call The Presidential Chair is indeed, the Rounded Chair, or The Chair, as it was popularized by the American Public. But why to recognize it as a Presidential Chair?, let’s take a look.

It was the September 26th of 1960, and Hans Wegner, the creator of the Shell Chair, The Ox Chair, and of course, the Rounded Chair, receive the message that its Rounded was selected as part of the furniture of the first televised Presidential debate in American history: The historical encounter between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

This was a real historic encounter. Presidential debates were always an American political tradition, but they were always a transmitted by radio. Adding image to the equation replanted everything.

The organizers of the debate wanted a futuristic TV set, looking at the future. Taking this as a premise, the scenery had a minimalistic, simple structure, to allow the public to focus in the candidates. The space only had a desk for the moderator, two chairs at each side of the desk for the candidates, and  one narrow lectern. Analysts say that this bare scenery, tend to benefit to the candidate with the best image. And while both candidates were same the same competent  in political issues, when it comes to image, there was a clear winner: John F. Kennedy.

The simple TV set made the public to watch carefully to each candidate, and John F. Kennedy, with its healthy tan, its youth appearance and charisma took advantage over a Richard Nixon quite conscious of the political problems, but a little sweaty and with a poor body posture. When it comes to  popularity, there is no doubt of the victory of John F. Kennedy in that debate.

And just like the Shell Chair, the Peacock Chair, and other great creations of Hans Wegner, the Rounded Chair is a great conjunction of past, present and future. They all represent it.

They represent past, because they honor the craftmanship and wise of the Danish furniture tradition and respect for wood.

They represent present because they are part of the legacy of Mid Century Modern and Scandinavian Design and make it popular right now in all the world, even with more popularity than the golden days of 1950s Mid Century Modern furniture.

And they represent the future of design, because its philosophy of respect for nature is the dominating trend in these years and the years to come, as all evidence suggest.

For inspo, info and great offers in furniture, don’t miss the oportunity in Barcelona Design, the alternative for Mid Century Modern style furniture, with masterpieces like the Barcelona Sofa  or the Hans Wegner Shell Chair.