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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Kathleen Eileen Moray Gray (August 9, 1878 - October 31, 1976) was an Irish furniture designer and architect and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture.
Eileen Gray's innovative Bibendum Chair was one of the 20th century's most recognizable furniture designs. The chair is very much for lounging in and socializing. Its back/arm rest consists of two semi-circular, padded tubes encased in soft leather. The name that Gray chose for the chair, Bibendum, originates from the character created by Michelin to sell tyres.
The visible part of the frame of the Bibendum i.e. the legs, were made of a polished, chromium plated, stainless steel tube. The framing of the actual seat was made of beechwood and there was rubber webbing that was inter-woven across the base of the seat to provide added comfort. The seat, back and arm rests encased in soft, pale leather. The Bibendum Chair is extremely comfortable.
The chair was designed for the room so that it looked inviting and made you want to sit down in it. As the apartment it was being designed for was for a trendy, modern, young woman, Eileen Gray's wish was to make it quite alternative and daring. The Bibendum Chair in itself was hardly like anything ever seen before and its originality was quite amazing at the time.
The Bibendum Chair was designed as part of the modernist movement which was completely different from her earlier, more traditional work. She decided to make the change in style to simply make "progress". The art critics loved the chair and reviews in papers and magazines exclaimed that it was a "triumph of modern living". Thanks to her great achievement with the Bibendum chair, Gray was given a huge moral boost, so she made the decision of opening up her own gallery in 1922.
Gray was bisexual. She mixed in the lesbian circles of the time, being associated with Romaine Brooks, Gabrielle Bloch, Loie Fuller, the singer Damia and Natalie Barney.
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Adjustable Table E 1027