Design in Everyday Things - The Development of the Chair (recto) Design in Everyday Things - The Teapot (verso)

Catalogue number
  • Art.IWM PST 16924
Art and Popular Design
Production date
Place made
Great Britain
Subject period
  • Support: paper
  • medium: lithograph and letterpress
  • Support: Height 761 mm, Width 1014 mm
Alternative names
  • object category: Poster

© IWM (Art.IWM PST 16924)

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Object description

whole: The poster is double-sided. Side 1: the 16 images occupy the majority. The title is separate and positioned across the top edge, in white and in orange. The text is separate and located in the upper left, in black, and beneath the images, as captions, in black and in white. All set against an orange and black background. Side 2: the image is positioned in the left two-thirds. Seven smaller images are placed in the right half. The title is separate and positioned along the top edge, in blue and in black. The text is separate and located along the bottom edge, in black and in white, and beneath the smaller images, as captions, in black. Further text is integrated and positioned across the main image in white, held within black speech bubbles. All set against a white and blue background. image 1: photographs of various historical styles of chair, ranging from medieval to contemporary examples. image 2: an oversize teapot, surrounded by the cartoon figures of six civilian and military personnel. They stand beside or climb over various parts of it, examining its effectiveness. The smaller images are of various historical and contemporary examples of teapots. text 1: DESIGN IN EVERYDAY THINGS the development of THE CHAIR The history of the chair shows how standards of workmanship, the use of new materials, methods of manufacture, and the social life of the period each affect design. The beautiful craftsmanship of Chippendale and Sheraton came during a period of spacious living and high culture. In contrast, the sense of restlessness and instability between wars is reflected in the search for new materials and new shapes shown in the last of the photographs. The manufacture of the furniture of tomorrow will have greater technical skill and scientific knowledge to assist them. But, as always, what they make will, in the long run, be what you demand. Will it be good or bad? In Henry VIII's reign (1509-1547) a lighter form of chair was introduced. The elegant style of this one was derived from France, and its shape was designed to accommodate the full skirts worn in those days. The Elizabethan age (1550-1600), like the Victorian, was one of great expansion and the decoration in this period was lavish and rich. Chairs were massive and hard and made of oak with carved panel backs and fat bulbous legs. The Restoration (1660-1690) brought luxurious living and for the first time chairs were designed for comfort. Explorers brought back many new woods of which walnut became the most fashionable. Queen Anne's reign (1702-1714) was one of expanding economy and designs became more formal though remaining still richly inventive. This simplicity was relieved by the use of veneers which gave a sense of delicacy. Winged 'Grandfather' chairs came into use at the same time and were often covered with elaborate needlework. It was the still and knowledge of the Huguenot exiles that led to the use of tapestry covers and better upholstery. The 18th century was an age of culture. Thomas Chippendale in the middle of the century developed and refined the earlier Georgian chairs and added details derived from Chinese and Gothic sources. Mahogany was introduced. Much furniture of this period was designed by Robert Adam, Hepplewhite and Sheraton. The end of the century revealed a refinement in form and ornament which showed itself in oval backs and straight tapering legs. In the Regency period (1800-1830) the influence was mainly French. Chairs had graceful and flowing lines and although the use of ornament was restrained, painted decoration was introduced. Mahogany and rosewood were used. In the country fashions changed less and simple chairs were made by the local craftsman. The example shown is the well-known 'Windsor' chair, which has remained popular to this day. The Industrial Revolution in the 19th century introduced a period of ostentation. Decoration, designed to be made by hand, was reproduced indiscriminately by machinery, and popular taste was for elaborate ornamentation. The chair in the Middle Ages was a rare article of furniture and consequently reserved as a seat of honour or of office. Made of oak it was heavy and solid in appearance. People ordinarily sat on benches or stools. At the end of the 19th century William Morris, dissatisfied with the prevalent designs, led a revolt against the machine. One of the results was 'art nouveau' of which this chair is an example. In 1927 a German first introduced the steel chair. More comfortable than it looks because of the resilience of the bent steel, it was designed to fit the figure. It has found a limited place in the home, but is extensively used in offices. Tubular steel chairs are a radical departure from traditional design. Their comfort is undeniable, but how about appearance? Do you find elegance in their clean lines or do you think them cold and uninviting? New processes continued to be developed, and in 1932, Alvar Aalto, working in Finland, produced chairs made out of bent plywood. These chairs made in one continuous piece are very comfortable. This is the accepted form of armchair. In the light of all you have just seen, what do you think of it? ARMY EDUCATION SCHEME VISUAL AID: PRODUCED BY ABCA A5182 Wt.41564 10,000 1/46 Gp.961 FOSH and CROSS LTD., LONDON text 2: design in everyday things THE TEAPOT DOES IT POUR WITHOUT DRIPPING? DOES THE LID FALL OFF WHEN POURING? IS IT EASY TO CLEAN OUT? IS IT EASY TO HOLD? IS IT EASY ON THE EYE? In about 1650 such teapots as this one were sent to Europe with the first consignments of tea ever to arrive from China. Tea drinking became a popular habit in the 18th century. Teapots were made in a variety of shapes and reflect the spirit of the age. Pictorial decorations like this depend on the skill of the individual craftsmen. Why do we see so few of them nowadays? How do you like this Victorian teapot with its intricate ornament? Do you think it is practical? Is it good to look at? What had the designers in mind when they gave this teapot the square shape? What about cleaning, and pouring and burning your fingers? In the other, the lid of the teapot and the top of the spout are all one, and the lid is held in position by a lip fitting under the inside rim. Why this? Do the advantages balance the disadvantages? Fancy teapots have been in extensive use since the eighteenth century. Should a teapot look like a teapot - or like something else? These teapots are based on traditional design. Many thousands have been made in similar shapes during the past two hundred years. Why are they so popular? Is shape enough by itself, and if it is really good does it compensate for any lack of decoration or novelty? THE ESSENTIALS OF A TEAPOT which do you like? ARMY EDUCATION SCHEME VISUAL AID: PRODUCED BY ABCA A5182 Wt.41564 10,000 1/46 Gp.961 FOSH and CROSS LTD., LONDON

Physical description

Army Education Scheme Visual Aid. A5182. Wt.41564. 10,000. Gp.961.

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