Booky Wook

5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written and researched book Kim Dohm – Dohmus

Lucy Ryder Richardson really knows what she talking about in this superbly written and researched book. I am sure it will become an essential reference book, full of valuable and useful information. Being an Anglo Danish designer it’s great to see so many Danish chairs in the top 100.

5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting, informative and beautiful book Olivia and Lesley – Olivia Scott-Taylor Chairs

As designer and manufacturer of mid century style school chairs ourselves, this book was a welcomed must have for us. Not only is it a hugely interesting and informative reference manual for the enthusiast but it is also so beautifully presented it will sit wonderfully anywhere for people to flick through or immerse themselves in. Anyone into design, style or art will love it.

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book. Jill Williams

Bought for my sister’s 60th birthday- brilliant book.


Buy 100 Midcentury Chairs and their stories from  Amazon – published by PAVILION in Europe and GIBBS-SMITH in the USA 

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Ten years ago Katie Cowan from independent publishing house Pavilion Books asked Modern Shows’ founding partners if they would write a book. Following a reshuffle at Pavilion, now owned by Polly Powell, the daughter of Barbican architect Geoffrey Powell of Chamberlin, Powell and Bon (one of the most important architectural firms in post-war England), Cowan returned and after a renegotiation over advance, 100 Midcentury Chairs and their stories was conceived over tea and cakes in Lucy Ryder Richardson’s Jacobsen-style kitchen.

Time Life Chair Eames
100MCChairs_Time Life Chair

The upshot is a book chocful of stunning images and interesting stories written by Ryder Richardson over the course of a year. Lucy used to write on style for Vogue, i-D, Independent, Guardian and ES magazine so was keen to get the inside scoop on chairs she sees come and go at the Midcentury Modern shows Lucy runs with business partner Petra Curtis for the past 14 years. 

The cover is bright and commercial and so very midcentury in its orange and brown with Eames style Boldoni type-set and an illustration of a Bertoia chair that stretches from front to back. Inside it is more classic with some lovely images from Christies and Jacksons in Berlin not to mention Modern Shows’ regular photographer Kevin Dutton who works for The Times amongst other publications. With fascinating stories about each chair derived from the children and grandchildren of the design greats. What did Hans Wegner really feel about being copied? How did Peter Ghyczy take the news that his chair had been made in West Berlin while he was in East Berlin with no proceeds going to him? How many screws should an Eames LCW have?


Deliberately handbag-sized with a packed directory in the back of dealers you can visit around the world compiled by Curtis and priced modestly in order to appeal to all vintage interiors fans, this book will be a worthy companion on any design classics buying trip. A rollicking read primed for the furniture addict or design boffin in your family, we are thinking perfect Xmas/birthday gift.



Lucy made sure to contact many family members of the design greats to get some original insight because, she says, “There is so much misinformation online and I’d seen mistakes in too many chair books I was determined to go back to source. I also just wanted to chat to the children and grandchildren.” As serendipity would have it, Nanna Ditzel’s daughter Lulu lives just around the corner in Forest Hill, Lulu has already visited the shows and Lucy and Lulu have fixed up a future coffee date.

Lucy’s book, is the first we hope of a lovely series that is currently gracing the shelves of the Tate, V&A shop, Foyles and Waterstones all of whom snapped it up immediately. 

Buy it from Amazon – published by PAVILION in Europe and GIBBS-SMITH in the USA

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