cf. L. Glaeser, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, MoMA, New York, 1977, pp. 54-59.
A. von Vegesack, M. Kries (eds.), Mies van der Rohe, Milan, 1998, p. 96, experimental version, Tecta Stuhlmuseum.
C. Lange, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe & Lilly Reich: Furniture and Interiors, Ostfildern, 2006, p. 25 illustrated, Crous residence, Freudenstadt, January 1934, pp. 79-84 reconstructions of interior furnishing plans, Crous apartment, Berlin, 1929-1930, and pp. 78-87, 162-163 descriptive texts.
H. Reuter, B. Schulte (eds.), Mies and Modern Living, Ostfildern, 2008, pp. 163, 245 related examples, including version with single support stretcher and smooth steel arms, apparently identical to the present lot, Villa Tugendhat, 1931.
Together with the chair retained in The Museum of Modern Art, New York, this example is the sole surviving complete armchair recorded to date. The present chair is one of two examples that were supplied, together with other furnishings, by Mies to Mildred Lange and her husband Carl Wilhelm Crous, by repute as a wedding gift, and which formed part of the interior furnishings of their Berlin apartment, completed December 1930. A professional relationship had previously been established between Mies and Mildred's father, Hermann Lange, for whom the former, assisted by Lilly Reich, created the Haus Lange, 1927-1930. The Berlin apartment - a compact masterpiece of Modernist clarity, enhanced by white walls and furnished with designs by Mies and Reich - was to remain the Crous' residence until late 1933, when together with their furniture they relocated to a property in Freudenstadt, where the chair features in a January 1934 photograph.
A sophisticated resolution of Mies's investigations into resilient cantilever seating, this boldly elegant Modernist form, produced contemporaneously with the 'Barcelona' Pavillion chairs by Berlin manufacturer Josef Müller, was to feature in a selection of Mies's interior schemes 1930-1931, most notably the Villa Tugendhat, Brno, 1929-1930, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. Developed independent of a specific project, three armchairs were supplied to the Villa Tugendhat, and two to the Crous apartment, before December 1930. An armchair is recorded in drawings for the vestibule of Mies's Haus Lange, another example acquired around 1932 by the architect Philip Johnson for his New York apartment. Three armless versions were presented at the Berliner Bauaustellung, 1931, and two are photographed in Mies's Dessau apartment, 1930-1932.
The Crous armchair, which features a single support brace to the frontal underside of the seat and smooth metal arms, is apparently uniquely identical to one of the three chairs supplied to the Villa Tugendhat, and relates to the single-brace experimental chair held in the Tecta Stuhlmuseum. Subsequent contemporary examples, including the two other Tugendhat-specific armchairs, one now retained in MoMA, all feature paired braces to enhance rigidity.