Auckland Museum - Collections Online

Predicate Object 27 Aug 1996 1996-08-27T00:00:00.000Z 1996-08-27T00:00:00.000Z 1996.105.1 purchased with funds provided by the Charles Edgar Disney Art Trust, 1996, collection of Auckland War Memorial Museum, 1996.105.1 1998-07-30T00:00:00.000Z 1 2020-12-18T17:26:35.617Z 35 Predominantly Closed table and six chairs, 1950s designed and manufactured by Garnet Campbell (Garth) CHESTER, Auckland, New Zealand (b 1915 - d 1968) plywood and vinyl table: h 750 x w 1525 x d 875 mm chair: h 820 x w 425 x d 500 mm purchased with funds provided by the Charles Disney Art Trust, 1996.105.1 Garth Chester was a designer of wide interests and achievements particularly in the creation of bent plywood furniture. He was also notable for his design films made throughout the 1950s. ‘Chester was on the periphery of Auckland’s small design community and practiced a distinctive modernism. In 1944 Chester had formed a chair from a single sheet of plywood. Known as the Curvesse (1944), this chair remains the most significant piece of furniture produced in New Zealand. Like many international designers Chester was fascinated by the possibilities of bent plywood producing a number of designs using plywood as the base material. Unlike other New Zealand designers, Chester put considerable emphasis on the potential of automated production. He designed the Whyte chair (1951) to be manufactured on the potential of an automated process which could produce a chair every four minutes, 600 a working week. This plan was unrealised. Chester’s furniture only ever had a limited appeal to the public and by 1960 the designer had all but retired from furniture design. This table with one of its accompanying chairs in bent plywood by Auckland designer and manufacturer Garth Chester is an opportunistic find and would compliment existing examples already in our collection. Chester’s work for both the commercial and domestic environment exemplifies New Zealand’s modernist search for the possibilities of seeming lightness of material, good simply designed utilitarian furniture using modern manufacturing processes. Auckland Museum has four pieces in its collection: a Barbers chair, an example of Theatre seating, a Curvesse type chair photos available table and chairs
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