New acquisition—a chair by J.J.P. Oud
On the opening day of the PAN Amsterdam art and antiques fair, Museum Boijmans Van
Beuningen purchased a rare tubular steel chair by the pioneering Rotterdam city architect
J.J.P. Oud. Armchair 04 is a piece that fits perfectly in the museum’s design collection.
In 1917 the architect J.J.P. Oud was one of the founders of the magazine and movement known
as ‘De Stijl’. In his capacity as Rotterdam city architect, Oud was an important figure in the
development of Modernism and Functionalism in architecture and design on the national and
international stage. In the 1930s the avant-garde Amsterdam department store Metz & Co asked
the progressive architects Gerrit Rietveld, J.J.P. Oud and Mart Stam to design a new furniture
collection. In 1932 Oud came up with a small range of tubular steel armchairs for the store,
among them Armchair 04, a piece that has much in common with Mies van der Rohe’s famous
Barcelona chair of 1929.
Tubular steel armchairs
The chair is based on an X-shaped tubular chromed steel frame. The seat is formed from
chromed steel slats, strung with white cord, on which were two loose foam rubber cushions
upholstered in off-white silk fabric. The chair has round armrests in white lacquered wood.
Replicas in foam rubber reinforced with horsehair and covered with a sheeny off-white woollen
material were made to replace the old cushions. Armchair 04 is interesting in the simplicity of the
frame design and the comfortable seat, which have a powerful visual appeal.
Rarely on the market
The steel furniture for Metz & Co is the only furniture that J.J.P. Oud designed to be sold
separately. All the other pieces he designed were commissioned by one person or made for the
interiors of buildings he himself had designed. Metz & Co did not sell Oud’s models in large
numbers, hence his furniture rarely comes on to the market. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
already owns some pieces of furniture by J.J.P. Oud. They include a number of items that were
commissioned and some from the architect’s estate, among them prototypes of chairs for a bank
in the Botersloot in Rotterdam (1954). Armchair 04 was purchased from Galerie De Andere Tijd
in Kampen and will go on display in the museum soon.
The acquisition has been made possible by the Friends of the museum
For more information or/ and images, please contact the Marketing and Communication Department
+31 10 44.19.561