The other night as I was shutting down the house I walked past an old wing back we have in our living room. Some core response deep inside me promoted me to reach out and run my hand across the top of this piece. I never really thought about it before but the back on this is very curved. Forced into that position by functional design and by the need to address comfort.
My wife’s grandfather was a purchasing agent for Dayton-Hudson’s in Downtown Detroit, and had access to some really nice furniture. It is from him that we got this piece through a series of hand me downs. At that point it had the original fabric on it and you could see where, through years of him residing there after a day’s work he had made an impression. In the corner of one wing was a hair grease stain where he rested his head, leaving behind just a slight amount of the hair concoctions of the time. I picture him sitting there reading the evening press and waiting for dinner, still in tie and work shirt.
The foam in the seat and back had a slight list into that corner as well. It is a well built chair complete with solid walnut claw and ball feet.
I stood there touching this chair, using of one my more dormant senses, attempting to take in the decades of performance, stories and elements of design that are still residing right there in our living room. His memory lives on along with memories of past design theories. Adjacent to it is a whole suite of furniture from Room & Board, and an Eames Walnut stool… a salad bowl of styles, all serving the same function working in great harmony.
My hope is that in these deperate times we don’t loose the wealth of the past in in quest of quick wealth in the future.