News — 8 Aug 2021

Thonet, the celebrated furniture company, is gifting three contemporary Thonet designs by German designers Sebastian Herkner and Stefan Diez and Belgian designer James Van Vossel, to the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Thonet is making the donation in honour of the museum’s 125th anniversary, and to mark the exhibition From Thonet to Dutch Design: 125 years of living at the Stedelijk, which has been extended until 12 September. The designs are on view in the first room of the exhibition, juxtaposed with characteristic historic Thonet furniture including one of the oldest pieces in the Stedelijk collection: a bench that dates back to around 1850.

Sebastian Herkner, chair 118, 2018; Stefan Diez, bar stool 404 H, 2007; James van Vossel, side table 1025, 2016, all gifted by Thonet in 2021. Stefan Diez’s green chair 404 F was previously donated by Frans Bruinsma/Thonet.
Sebastian Herkner, chair 118, 2018; Stefan Diez, bar stool 404 H, 2007; James van Vossel, side table 1025, 2016, all gifted by Thonet in 2021. Stefan Diez’s green chair 404 F was previously donated by Frans Bruinsma/Thonet.

Rein Wolfs, director Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: “The Stedelijk’s rich design collection is already home to a distinguished ensemble of around sixty Thonet designs, from the early bentwood and steel tube furniture created between 1920 and1930, to contemporary designs in wood and steel. Comprising three new furniture designs, this a sizeable donation. This generous gift not only enriches our collection but also helps to keep it alive for the future. The Stedelijk is an ideal place to present the story of design, from historical pieces that inspire other generations to contemporary design objects. And that context is of exceptional value.

Ingeborg de Roode, curator of industrial design at the Stedelijk: “Thonet is, of course, world renowned for its innovative furniture. It is one of the few companies that has continued to release ground-breaking designs and beautifully crafted collections for over two centuries. Which is why Thonet is a company we continue to follow. And today, Thonet also produces reinterpretations of the classics, giving tradition a contemporary twist. In the past, Thonet worked with illustrious names such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Mart Stam, and, more recently, with a line-up of dynamic contemporary designers like Stefan Diez, Sebastian Herkner and James van Vossel. We are delighted to expand our collection with these pieces, which bring an exciting new dimension to the exhibition.

From left to right: Michael Thonet, bench No. 4 (variation on Café Daum furniture), 1849-50, prod. Gebrüder Thonet; Michael Thonet, No. 14, 1859-60; August Thonet, No. 51, 1883-85; Michael Thonet, rocking chair No. 1, 1862. Collection Stedelijk Museum
From left to right: Michael Thonet, bench No. 4 (variation on Café Daum furniture), 1849-50, prod. Gebrüder Thonet; Michael Thonet, No. 14, 1859-60; August Thonet, No. 51, 1883-85; Michael Thonet, rocking chair No. 1, 1862. Collection Stedelijk Museum