Journal Article

From Cure Chair to <i>Chaise Longue</i>: Medical Treatment and the Form of the Modern Recliner

MARGARET CAMPBELL

in Journal of Design History

Published on behalf of Design History Society

Volume 12, issue 4, pages 327-343
Published in print January 1999 | ISSN: 0952-4649
Published online January 1999 | e-ISSN: 1741-7279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jdh/12.4.327
From Cure Chair to Chaise Longue: Medical Treatment and the Form of the Modern Recliner

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In this article, I argue that medical attitudes to pulmonary tuberculosis had a significant influence on the development of the reclining chair. During the early twentieth century this furniture type, also known as the cure chair, day bed, lounger, recliner or chaise longue, was used in European private and public sanatoria which were required to contain the increased numbers of patients officially diagnosed as having pulmonary tuberculosis. This demand continued up until the mid-1950s when the success of triple-drug chemotherapy resulted in the wholesale closure of these institutions. However, by this time, the chaise longue type had become established as a modernist icon. This came about as a consequence of early twentieth-century health reform initiatives, the therapeutic needs of the tuberculosis patient and a modernist preference for open structural design over the upholstered form.

Keywords: Aalto; Alvar; chaise longue; furniture; modernism; Perriand; Charlotte; tuberculosis

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: History of Art ; Art Forms ; Industrial and Commercial Art ; Art Styles

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