A midcentury icon found in design collections worldwide, the 1958 molded plywood armchair by Norman Cherner is now available to a new generation of furniture collectors. Reissued in exacting detail from the original drawings and molds, the armchair combines the best of both molded plywood and solid bent wood construction.
Like the original, made entirely in the U.S.A.
Finishes available: classic walnut, natural walnut, clear beech, 'Stella' Orange, ebony, white, red gum and any combination of finishes
Custom finishes available
Available with upholstered seat pads.
Dimensions: 31.5" h x 26.5" w x 21.5" d
Cherner products have been specified for commercial, institutional and residential environments since 1992. The Cherner Chair Company works closely with architects, designers and furniture collectors to provide custom finishes, review upholstery options, or help select products from our classic finishes and Spinneybeck leather options.
The Cherner Armchair is a classic piece of mid-century design, contemporary with the pioneering molded plywood work of Charles and Ray Eames. The Cherner Armchair brings exquisite design and fine materials into a bold, swashbuckling form. The flowing armrests on the chair are surprising and delightful even today, 50 years after they were first debuted. They are also a wonder of engineering from that time period - to be able to bend wood so easily, so flawlessly, so sublimely to fit a design was unheard of.
The Cherner Armchair has lasted over the many decades since its debut because it's beautiful, classic, whimsical, and technically accomplished. It took a new idea, that of molded plywood, and took it to a place not yet imagined or even anticipated. The thin, lithe strips of wood that form the armrests of the chair are amazingly strong as well as attractive and complementary to the rest of the chair. The back of the chair is elegantly curved, and does a lot with not much material at all. The unique and beguiling shape of the chair back is the second most striking design feature, and it fits in perfectly with the aesthetic established by the free-flowing armrests. Exceeding narrow at the small of the back but spreading quickly at the top to support your shoulders, it's a winning and impressive design.
The process of molding plywood requires lots of heat and energy, but the products produced can't be weakened by the bending and molding. Conquering this problem is one of the great furniture making achievements in modern times. The process has leds to dozens of classic chairs and pieces of furniture, of which the Cherner Armchair is one of the best and brightest.
The seat of the chair falls off a bit at the front, creating a waterfall effect that makes sitting more comfortable and takes pressure off of your thighs. The legs of the chair are molded plywood as well, and give the whole piece a finished, complete quality.
The total effect is classical in an almost ancient sense - the amazing lines and curves of the design, combined with the unlikely and alchemic molding of plywood to create something truly beautiful, make it seem like a chair pre-ordained or discovered, rather than one that was simply built. It's a magnifiscent piece, and it would be the jewel of any collection lucky enough to snag it. Get one for your home or office today!
At Smart Furniture we've built our business around the concept of design on demand. We belive that our customers should have a heavy hand in helping to design or complete their own furniture - whether that furniture be shelves, chairs, desks, or accessories. With every product we sell we strive to include customization options that give our customers the final say in what exactly their purchase will look like, how it will fit into their current design scheme, and how it will become part of their home or office.
Even with an absolute classic like the Cherner Amrchair, we've come up with lots of exciting customization options. In this case, the wood veneer, the outward facing "cloak" of the piece, is up to you to choose. We've collected up to 9 options, each of which combines beauty and originality into a powerful combination, and each of which bring their own unique essence to your chair.
The standard for the Cherner Armchair, in terms of veneer, is Natural Beech. Natural Beech gives the chair an understated veneer, focusing the eye on the amazing curves of the chair. At the same time the Natural Beech contributes to a clean, straight-from-the-woods look that keeps the chair in that exciting sense of ripped-from-nature yet impossibly formed look.
Another popular option is Ebony Lacquer, which gives the chair a completely different look. The Ebony Lacquer finish gives an impression of sleekness, and punches up even more the otherworldy look of the design. Other options include Classic Walnut, Natural Walnut, White Lacquer, Classic Ebony, and Red Gum. You can also mix and match some of the veneers for a truly original look that draws inspiration from several sources. No matter which choice you make, you'll be receiving a gorgeous, classic chair that's all your own, in more ways than one.
Norman Cherner Norman Cherner is one of the most impressive and well regarded designers of his time. Born in Brooklyn in 1920, he was a contemporary of many of the major mid-century furniture designers, including giants like Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Mies van der Rohe. With the Eames' he shared a passion for pre-fabrication (making fine houses and furniture available to a wider office) and an interest in bending nature to his will - both design houses came out with molded plywood chairs that have since become their most important and primary designs.
Cherner was educated in the Bauhaus tradition, meaning that he worked in many different areas of design. He worked with glass, he studied architecture, and he of course designed furniture and living spaces. His first love was building homes, and he initially made his name by creating "pre-builts," pre-fabricated homes that were beautiful, responsive to the needs of the modern family, and didn't cost homeowners an arm and a leg. His pre-built homes are still highly regarded today, and are a pre-cursor to the rightly celebrated Eames Home in California. Soon Cherner's focus would move to furniture, and it's in that arena that he has truly made his name and stood the test of time.
Cherner built modular storage systems, entire systems of furniture that worked together, tables, chairs, and more. But by far his most popular and lasting design is the Cherner Armchair, originally built for Plycraft. The Chernery Chair is a great and lasting example of mid-century design, and it will have a place in living rooms, dining rooms, studies and office for years and years to come. The beautiful and surprising design of the armrests coincides with an elegant seat and seat back combination, creating an overall look that's hard to beat for classic originality.
Cherner was a teacher at Columbia University in the Fine Arts Department, and was also involved with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). He was also a writer, publishing books like "Make your own Modern Furniture," "How to Build Children's Toys and Furniture," "Fabricating Houses from Component Parts," and "How to Build a House for Less than $6,000." His books represent his interests, his areas of expertise, and his lifelong commitment to making the sublime and the perfectly designed attainable for middle class audiences.
Although best known for his furniture design, Norman Cherner's work included almost all aspects of design: from graphics, glassware and lighting, to his pioneering work in prefabricated housing.
With Benjamin Cherner's decision to join with his brother Thomas to form the Cherner Chair Company in 1999, it brought back into production many of Norman Cherner's most popular designs. Utilizing his original drawings and specifications, the reissued designs are manufactured with the same attention to detail found in the original hand made classics.
Not only has the company reissued the molded plywood chairs, stools and tables, the Cherner Chair Company has also introduced new designs by Benjamin Cherner.
With an environmental philosophy that you will never find a Cherner Chair product in a landfill, their products are manufactured to last, to cherish, and to hand down to future generations. All components of Cherner Chair products are replaceable, insuring that their chairs, tables, and stools can be indefinitely kept in service.
Assembled from wood collected from sustainably managed forests and with steel that is 100 percent recyclable, with 25 percent recycled content, all components are finished with coatings that emit negligible VOCs. All packaging and shipping materials are also repeatedly recyclable.