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American Decorative Arts
Designer: Frank Lloyd Wright, American, 1867–1959
Maker, attributed to: Matthew Brothers Furniture Company, active 1857-1937

Side Chair for the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo

Probably designed February 3, 1921


37 13/16 × 15 9/16 × 19 1/4 in. (96 × 39.6 × 48.9 cm)
Bequest of Wilma B. Keyes
Frank Lloyd Wright is considered the progenitor of modernism in America. This chair is from Wright’s 1916–22 commission for the Imperial Hotel, in Tokyo, Japan. It was but one component in the interior scheme, which included accessories that Wright designed for the tearoom of the hotel. The bold Cubist composition of the chair was a forerunner of the angular designs of a decade later.
Made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Designed in Probably Spring Green, Wisconsin
On view
20th century

Commissioned by the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan, after 1921-67; sold with the contents of the hotel at a deaprtment store in Nagoya, Japan, 1967; purchased through an unknown agent by Wilma B. Keyes, Mansfield Center, Conn., 1967-94


“Acquisitions, January 1994–December 1995,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1995–96): 143, ill.

John Stuart Gordon et al., A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011), 59, no. 28.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.