“möd” of Inspiration: The Cherner Chair

If you’ve ever wondered where our design ideas come from, you’ll have to look back as well as forward.

For our latest product, BookArc möd, we turned to the stars of mid-century modern design, including the famous Eames lounge chair, as well as the lesser-known – but no less amazing – Cherner Chair.  From our friends at Apartment Therapy, here’s a quick history you’ll want to read… and then you’ll see why we are so inspired by this lovely chair. 

From the story: “In the 1950s, the Herman Miller company, led by George Nelson, was working on creating lightweight chairs out of plywood. Their Pretzel chair (image 6) was designed by Nelson’s office in 1952 and produced by a Massachusetts-based company called Plycraft. The Pretzel chair proved too fragile and costly, so Herman Miller stopped production in 1957. But because of the Pretzel chair, Plycraft had the materials and techniques for constructing plywood furniture, and they didn’t want them to go to waste. George Nelson recommended that Norman Cherner design a sturdier and more affordable Pretzel-type chair that could be more easily produced on Plycraft’s equipment, so Paul Goldman, the owner of Plycraft, hired Cherner, contract and all. After Cherner turned in his design to Plycraft, though, he was told the project had been scrapped. Not long after, Cherner was in a furniture showroom in New York and saw his design for sale! Examining the label, he saw it was from Plycraft and was attributed to “Bernardo.” He sued Plycraft in 1961 and won; Goldman admitted that Bernardo was a fabricated name. Plycraft continued to produce Cherner’s chair, but Cherner received royalties and proper credit. The chair was produced until the 1970s, but Cherner’s sons have recently reissued their father’s original designs, not only for the famous chair, but also for various tables and case furniture, as well.” 

Check out the rest of the story here. And get your own Cherner-inspired BookArc möd here. If you’re interested in obtaining a Cherner Chair for yourself, you’ll be delighted to learn that they once again in production (along with a lovely children’s line of furniture) and are available at The Cherner Store.

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