Although a pioneer in prefab housing, Norman Cherner is best known for his molded plywood seating line he created for – and ultimately sued – the manufacturer, Plycraft. After telling Cherner that his design for what is now known as the Cherner® Chair (1958) had been scrapped, Plycraft’s owner continued to produce it, claiming himself as the designer. The Chair’s popularity soared when it appeared in Norman Rockwell’s 1961 painting “The Artist at Work” on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. Cherner sued, and while Plycraft agreed to pay Cherner royalties, the line was out of production by the early 1970s. In 1999, Cherner’s sons formed the Cherner Chair Company to revive the designs and produce them as their father originally intended. Made in U.S.A.
This original is an authentic, fully licensed product of Cherner Chair Company. Cherner Chair is a licensed trademark of Cherner Chair Company.
Constructed of laminated plywood of graduating thicknesses, from 5 ply at the perimeter edge of the seat to 15 ply at the slender waist, the design possesses exceptional structural strength and dramatic sculptural beauty.
European beech wood core; laminated plywood; walnut veneer.
A pioneer both in molded plywood and prefab housing, Norman Cherner studied and taught at the Columbia University Fine Arts Department and was an instructor at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1947 to 1949. Here he also explored the Bauhaus movement, embarking on a lifetime exploration of multidisciplinary design, from furniture, shelving, glassware, lighting and even toys to his pioneering work in low-cost prefabricated housing.
Early in his career, Cherner envisioned houses as a total design concept and designed affordable furniture specifically for these low-cost modular dwellings. He wrote about his theories in Make Your Own Modern Furniture (1953), How to Build Children's Toys and Furniture (1954), Fabricating Houses from Component Parts (1958) and How to Build a House for Less than $6,000 (1960). One of his first prefabricated houses was designed, produced and assembled in 1957 for the U.S. Department of Housing. After being exhibited in Vienna, it was shipped back to Connecticut and uncrated to become his first home and studio. Read more >