Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Josef Albers’ Butaca

Josef Albers, 1966

Tickets are now available for the Decorative Arts Trust 7th Annual Colloquium featuring young scholars in the decorative arts field.

Christina L. De León will present the lecture “Reinterpreting an American Chair: Clara Porset and Josef Albers’ Butaca,” on January 22, 2023. Tickets are available here.

The Campeche, or butaca, as it is called in Spanish, is a reclining, non-folding, sling-seat chair with a distinctive side-placed curule base as modeled here by Josef Albers.

De León is Associate Curator of Latino Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Since joining the institution in 2017, she has actively worked to build the museum’s collection of US Latino and Latin American design from the 18th century to the present, while also organizing exhibitions and public programs that highlight designers from the Americas. De León is currently a doctoral candidate at the Bard Graduate Center, where her research focuses on the material culture and decorative arts of the Americas. Her dissertation, “Mapping an American Chair Form: The History and Evolution of the Butaca,” charts the transformation of this seating type from the 11th to the mid-20th century and explores how the butaca emerged as a chair form distinctly of the Americas. In 2020, De León received a Decorative Arts Trust Research Grant for her studies.