ARTplay: What makes a chair?

[ 0 ] March 26, 2010 |

With your child: What objects make up the head, back, seat, and legs of this chair?  There is a compass, pencil, paper, and ruler.  These are some of the tools of an architect.  This chair is called a Valet Chair because you could hang your coat from the pegs at the top of the compass and then take a seat.  The designer is a professor at RISD.  He creates furniture that looks like sculpture.

RISDM-ChairAlphonse Mattia, Architect’s Valet Chair, 1989. Museum purchase with Funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Courtesy of Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.

Project 1: Look at the chairs in your home, at school, or in a theater. What do they look like? Look at the size, shape, color, and materials. How are they similar to or different from the architect’s chair?

Project 2: Design your own chair on paper or make a model using legos, boxes, pillows, etc. Give your chair a name. What would it be used for? What would it be made of?

ARTplay is a monthly column from the RISD Museum of Art in which various themes and activities introduce kids and parents to the museum’s collection both online and off. Each month, Kidoinfo will help spark your children’s interest in art, encouraging them to learn about different works at the museum. To learn more about the collection or see the art in person, visit the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, located at 20 N. Main Street, Providence, RI.

All additional inquires or requests should be directed to: Denise Bastien, Collection Information and Imaging Specialist, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, 224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI 02903. 401 454- 6528. E-mail inquires to:

Category: ARTplay-RISD, local ri area, museums

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

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