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The Art of Seating runs through June 18 at the Huntsville Museum of Art (Photo Provided)

It’s 3:17 p.m. and I’ve been sitting at this desk for hours. My legs ache from all the non-activity and I put myself on notice. “As soon as we finish uploading this article to the site, we are going for a run … no excuses.” A bottle of my favorite red wine winks at me from the kitchen. “Nope,” I proclaim to no one in particular. “Write … run … then wine.” My long-haired chihuahua, Sophie, raises her head at the commotion then just as quickly lowers it and goes back to sleep.

As a writer, editor, and communications guru, I spend a lot of time sitting at my desk. So several years ago when I found a Herman Miller Aeron Chair at a vintage store for just $100, I jumped at the chance to buy it. Brand new, these bad boys retail for nearly $900. It was a steal and  I’ve never regretted it.  First, its sleek modern design makes my artistic pulse quicken. Plus it’s hella comfortable … perfect lower back support, arm rests at precisely the right height, and a pitch-perfect head rest. It’s a dream on ergonomically-designed wheels.

Thus began my love affair with the chair. It’s a ubiquitous American obsession that shows up not only in the home and workplace but also in popular culture.

Archie Bunker played stodgy, blue collar conservative to Gloria and Michael’s hippie liberal from the comfort of his well-worn, tan, upholstered chair. At Cheers, Norm, Cliff, and the gang waxed poetic from the heights of well-crafted bar stools. Our sixteenth president sits stoically at the Lincoln Memorial in a ten foot tall “democratic throne” etched from Tennessee marble .

Americans make an art out of sitting.

The Huntsville Museum of Art explores this phenomenon with it’s newest exhibition The Art of Seating, which runs through June 18.

The Art of Seating explores over 200 years of American chair design from 1810 to 2010 while exploring the social, economic, political, and cultural influence of the designs. It’s the brainchild of Dr. Diane DeMill Jacobsen and is on loan from by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville and the Jacobsen Collection of American Art.

Some highlights include designs by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright as well as ornate creation by popular Rococo Revival designer Johann Henry Belter. One of the most interesting chairs is a post-Civil War designed by the Herter Brothers. They once famously built furniture for former president Ulysses S. Grant and several of their pieces remain in the White House to this day.

Other designers include George Hunzinger, the Stickley Brothers, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Isamu Noguchi, and Frank Gehry, among others.

Organizers also present historical context through a multimedia display of patent drawings, documents, upholstery, and period photographs.

If you go >> The Huntsville Museum of Art is located at 300 Church Street Southwest. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students, and $5 for children 6-1. Children under 6 are admitted free. Learn more about the exhibit on the website or visit their Facebook page.

{Mason Jar Magazine covers food, dining, arts, culture, events, attractions, music, books, film, and recreation in a cluster of 18 small towns in southern, middle Tennessee including Bell Buckle, Belvidere, Cowan, Decherd, Estill Springs, Fayetteville, Huntland, Kelso, Lynchburg, Manchester, Monteagle, Mulberry, Normandy, Tullahoma, Sewanee, Shelbyville, Wartrace, and Winchester plus the best of what’s happening in Huntsville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga, and Nashville.}

Written by: Tabitha D. Moore, Mason Jar Magazine, Editor

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