The chair, round chair, runde stol by Hans J. Wegner.
Danish master craftsman Hans J. Wegner believed that a chair should be made well enough to last at least 50 years. His iconic The Chair may be the ultimate expression of that philosophy.
Wegner never named his chairs. The first was called number 1, the second number 2, and so on. Wegner designed more than 500 chairs during his career, and the reason why some of them carry a name, is because of the producers and clients.
Number 501 or "the round one" as Wegner himself called it, was first exhibited in 1949. One year later it was shown on the cover of the American magazine Interiors, who refered to it as the world's most beautiful chair. The clean wood design is stripped to its bare essentials, a sculptural semicircle resting on four tapered legs with a cane or leather seat suspended between them. The empty space that separates the back from the seat, gives the piece an elegance and economy of form that results in greater comfort, not less.
In 1960, the TV company CBS bought twelve copies of the chair for the first live broadcast of an election debate; between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. It was Kennedy who requested this chair, he wanted a comfortable chair for his aching back. 70 million people watched the Wegner chair on live broadcast and it was even mentioned in the newspaper election reports the day after. Afterwards the CBS manager, donated the twelve chairs to the Smithsonian Institute.