Throne Bench and Chair by Robert Whitley

Robert Whitley, (b. 1924), "Throne Desk and Armchair", 1999, Curly maple, American black walnut, bird’s-eye maple, dogwood with ebony pegs, James A. Michener Art Museum. Gift of Steve and Suzanne Kalafer and Flemington Car and Truck Country.

Contemporary woodworker Robert Whitley created his first Throne Chair in 1978 and Throne Desk in 1980. His Throne series, inspired by a seventeenth-century Jacobean wainscot chair, is a contemporary interpretation that accentuates the protruding pegs of the seventeenth-century chair as well as the worn yellow tones of its arms and back. The idea for the Throne Chair and the expanded series of desks, tables, and benches revives the seventeenth-century concept that domestic chairs could function as seats of distinction for honored guests or heads of households.