Spindle Cube Chair

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Frank Lloyd Wright
American, 1867–1959

Spindle Cube Chair, 1902/06

Poplar and leather
73.7 x 73.7 x 73.7 cm (29 x 29 x 29 in.)
Restricted gift of the Antiquarian Society; Roger McCormick Purchase, Alyce and Edwin DeCosta and the Walter E. Heller Foundation, Robert Allerton Purchase Income, Ada Turnbull Hertle, and Mary Waller Langhorne Memorial funds; Robert Allerton Trust; Pauline Seipp Armstrong Fund; Bequest of Ruth Falkenau Fund in memory of her parents; Wendel Fentress Ott Endowment, Bessie Bennett, Elizabeth R. Vaughan, and Gladys N. Anderson funds; Estate of Stacia Fischer; The Goodman Fund; Maurice D. Galleher Endowment; Samuel P. Avery and Charles U. Harris Endowed Acquisition funds; Estate of Cora Abrahamson; Charles R. and Janice Feldstein Endowment Fund for Decorative Arts, 2007.79

© 2016 Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

This elegant spindle cube chair is an early example from Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio. In 1889 Wright built a house for his young family on Forest Avenue in Oak Park, a new suburb just west of Chicago; ten years later, he opened an attached studio and designed it and the home’s interior in accordance with his philosophy of simplicity and the integrity of materials. Among his furniture experiments were heavy, solid cube chairs. By the first decade of the twentieth century, Wright had refined his early design into that of this chair, adding spindles, a subtly tapering crest rail, and gently curving leg ends to produce an effect that is equal parts sophistication and simplicity. The spindles themselves were a legacy of William Morris–inspired ladder-back dining chairs, as well as the Arts and Crafts approach of contrasting positive and negative space. This chair was also influenced by the reticulated ceilings and walls of Japanese homes.

— Entry, Essential Guide, 2013, p. 44.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, "Apostles of Beauty: Arts and Crafts from Britain to Chicago," November 7, 2009-January 31, 2010, cat. 169.

Publication History

Annual Report (Art Institute of Chicago, 2006-2007), p. 19 (ill. p. 28).

Thomas Heinz, Frank Lloyd Wright: Furniture (Peregrine Smith, 1993), pp. 4–5, ill.

Brandon K. Ruud, "Spindle Cube Chair," Notable Acquisitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 34, 1 (2008), pp. 14-15.