Michael Thonet

Artist’s Bio

With the development of the bentwood technique in furniture design, Michael Thonet laid the cornerstone of industrial production. He was born in 1796 in Boppard/Rhine, Germany, where he opened his own workshop in 1819. In 1842 Prince Metternich summoned him to Vienna. Together with his sons he founded the successful company Gebrüder Thonet in 1849 and within a short amount of time it became globally successful and expanded rapidly. More than 865,000 bentwood chairs per year were produced in today’s Czech Republic, Hungary, and Russia. Michael Thonet died in Vienna in 1871; his sons then took over the company.

During the 1930s, Gebrüder Thonet was committed to the construction and technology of tubular steel furniture and quickly became the largest manufacturer in the world. World War II represented a harsh caesura: the plants in the eastern regions were disowned. The facility in Frankenberg (Germany), founded in 1889, has been the corporate headquarters and production site since that time. Thonet is still a family-owned business and is managed today by the 5th generation. The company manufactures bentwood and tubular steel classics as well as new models, which are developed in cooperation with architects and designers.

Gallery

RECENT NEWS

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design launches “Craft City”

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) debuts a new program series this summer that honors Asheville as “Craft City.” At three outdoor pop-up studios this summer (July 7, August 4, and September 1) people of all skill levels and backgrounds can make a take-home craft under the guidance of a visiting artist.

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