The Way of the West Chairs Collection is the first collaboration for Jim Krantz Projects. It represents the merging of his iconic western imagery with one of America’s most iconic designs, the classic mid-century modern fiberglass shell chair. First designed as an entry in The Museum of Modern Art’s 1948 International Design competition, the shell chair was then named “Best Design of the Century” by Time magazine. Jim saw its sensual, organic form and authentic pedigree as the perfect canvas for his photographs. To create this unique collection, Jim has partnered with Modernica, the renowned furniture designers and fabricators based in Los Angeles. In a symbolic return to the West, each chair is handcrafted in the same process that was used on the originals more than 65 years ago.
Production will be limited to just 50 pieces of each design and every chair is signed and numbered.
Jim Krantz Projects is proud to support the Heroes & Horses 500 Mile Project and will donate a portion of the proceeds from The Way of the West Collection.
Modernica uses a proprietary process that embeds the image permanently below the surface of the fiberglass chair.
In the early fifties, fiberglass was considered an ultra-high tech material. Produced with a mixture of resin and glass fibers, it was lightweight, yet heavy-duty. Initial development and production was through Zenith Plastics—early pioneers of developing fiberglass for household and military applications. As for the chair bases, they were cleverly designed to provide a number of leg options that would be interchangeable within and between the arm shell and the side shell.
The shell chairs were first available in the spring of 1950. The first runs of the chairs were produced in only three colors; griege, elephant-hide gray, and parchment—all of which had interesting translucent qualities. The chairs were distributed until 1983.
In 2000, Modernica revived this potentially lost art of high-pressure, molded fiberglass. Modernica creates each shell, by hand, one-by-one, in our Los Angeles factory—just as they had been designed, developed, and produced in Southern California in the 1950s. Modernica uses all of the original presses and specialized equipment obtained from Century Plastics. To ensure authenticity of production, the initial shell chair production was overseen by Sol Fingerhut and Irv Green, the same team employed over sixty years ago to develop the original technology.
Modernica creates each chair with the charge of adhering to the original tactile qualities, texture, and characteristics that alone are unique to the fiberglass shell chair. Our historic equipment has created thousands of chairs for three generations of chair lovers — and everyday Modernica continues to produce beautiful chairs for upcoming generations. Choose from a wide range of shell colors and chair base options. Modernica offers the flexibility to build a chair to suit your individual style and needs.
Made in California.