Chair - Alan Peters

Chair, Alan Peters, 1978

Object Details

Date of making
Date of acquisition
Furniture making: woodworking, upholstering
English ash, leather
L1040mm x W485mm x D510mm
Collection Number

Maker Details

Petersfield, Hampshire, England
Place Trained
Central School of Arts and Crafts, 1959-60
Crafts Council Bursary, 1975


Alan Peters’ Chair can be described as a typical product of his workshop. Peters preferred simple designs, bringing a subtle and personal originality to his work. As an apprentice to Edward Barnsley he had a direct link with the Arts And Crafts Movement.

He was known worldwide for his simple, understated, yet clearly distinctive modern furniture designs, and also for his tireless commitments as a teacher, writer and assessor. A significant shift in his work resulted from the study trip to Japan, enabled by a Crafts Council Bursary in 1975, and the influence of the local highly crafted, yet simple vernacular architecture.

A perfectionist who worked across a wide range of styles and forms, Peters (1933-2009) influenced a whole generation of British craftsmen, and was one of the main exponents of the British craft revival in the 1970s. His furniture was characterised by elegance, simplicity and restrained use of decoration, a feat often requiring more skill than the production of fussy pieces that are superficially more complex. Peters was awarded an OBE for services to furniture design in 1990.

Peters’ work was exhibited in the Crafts Council’s 1995 exhibition Furniture Today – Its Design and Craft, curated by Peter Dormer.

Read more about related loans and exhibitions

Professor Simon Olding

“This modest but bewitching chair, first made in sycamore in his beloved Kentisbeare studio, typifies Peters’ approach to furniture design. It is exquisitely detailed. It takes a moment to get beyond the seeming simplicity of these details: the leg, gracefully curved; a perfect, halfhidden wedged mortise and tenon joint. These are underplayed moments of grace. But there is a magnetic resonance, all the same. Nothing that Alan Peters made was ever showy or bombastic. The chair plays the chord of the Arts & Crafts studio with a contemporary note. Peters published its technical details in the peerless Cabinetmaking, generous with his time to the last.”

Professor Simon Olding

Professor Simon Olding, Director Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham.

From the Archive

Peters was amongst the makers featured in the Crafts Council's 1995 exhibition 'Furniture Today Ð Its Design and Craft', curated by visual arts writer Peter Dormer. © Crafts Council

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