This is wimsical figurative patio chair was designed by John Risley in the 1960s. Risley first produced a bench with 2 figures, which was an ideal representation of the type of post-war pop art that began to permeate the design industry in the 1950s and 1960s. The result was a demand for more figurative furniture from the artist. Risley produced a number of different figurative pieces for this collection. As a stand alone chair or mixed in with other pieces of interest, this chair is a piece of design history ready to go!
Born in Waterville Maine, John Risley(1919-2002) was an artist who’s skill and talents would eventually lead to producing multiple items for the furniture and design business. He studied at the Loomis Institute and Melvern College before graduating from Amherst in 1942. Immediately after, Risley served 4 years in the Army, stationed in Tokyo.
Risley met his wife and fellow artist Mary Kring at Amherst, and together they produced pieces that were both aesthetic and functional. He returned to education to get his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA in 1950 from the Cranbrook Academy. He would later return to education in 1954 as an art professor at the University of Middletown, Connecticut for 34 years. Both John and Mary worked for the State Department in the early 1950’s in the Philippines, and later Taiwan, pairing local craft industries and contemporary design. These years led him to incorporate different techniques and designs in to his own art work.