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The Incredible Elastic Chairs of Samuel Gragg

July 11–October 19, 2003
Decorative Arts Gallery

In 1808, Boston furniture maker Samuel Gragg was granted a patent for an innovative new chair design. Gragg invented a new method of steam bending wood to create an “elastic chair.”

Gragg’s use of bentwood furniture predates widespread use of this method by almost 50 years. The Incredible Elastic Chairs of Samuel Gragg explores the story of Samuel Gragg, the technology he patented and the painted decoration of these forms.


This exhibition is organized by the Winterthur Museum, An American Country Estate with support from Martha and William E. Steen and the Friends of Winterthur. The exhibition is coordinated at the MAM by Sarah Fayen, Charles F. Hummel Fellow at Chipstone.