Alvar Aalto 41 Paimio Scroll Chair for Artek
Acquired on craigslist this past Sunday for a fraction of its retail value, I am very happy to say that this is indeed an authentic Artek Paimio chair. Putting some sitting google voice dollars to work, I called Artek Helsinki who looked over some detailed images and confirmed that the construction is identical to the one still used by Artek’s manufacturer today. They did not have a date of manufacture, but from my research I would venture to say it is from the last 20 years.
Made with just four pieces of birch ply, the Paimio chair was designed between 1931-1932 for a Sanitorium in Finland of the same name. As is noted in most descriptions of the chair, it was designed to promote better breathing. It is in MoMa’s permanent archives and is recognized as one of the greater achievements in plywood manufacturing, spurring the creations of many future designers such as Charles & Ray Eames and Eero Saarinen.
I’ve been buying, refinishing and selling mid century furniture for about a year now and I’ve gone through so many phases of thought regarding my relationship with it. I’ve grossed more money than I’ve ever made completely on my own, and I’ve even made some profit along the way. As of now, my gut compulsion is to keep everything I like. I previously considered this impulse to be counterintuitive, as my eventual goal was to leave my job and start a business. I would sell pieces I loved, understanding that it was for the business, and my future. As of late, I’m beginning to care much more about the present, and my goal is to merely sell enough to break even, pay for garage rent and just keep everything else. I suppose that eventually, as seems to be the narrative of most showroom owners, I will be forced to open a store, rather than merely compelled to do so. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the hunt, furnish my apartment to my ideal specifications, and of course, pack a garage with awesome furniture.
Side note: On the suggestion of a friend (and photographer), I purchased a Yongnuo Speedlite YN560-III and some wireless triggers and began my journey with flash photography. I’ve been borrowing another friend’s Nikon D3100 and my skills are slowly improving. Flash photography is definitely an art and I feel barely confident at getting even decent results. I am satisfied with these shots, but of course, I have a long way to go.