After a short period of artistic training in Vienna, the Hungarian-born Marcel Breuer studied at the Bauhaus from 1920 to 1924. He rose quickly and was appointed master of the furniture workshop in 1925 at the age of only 23. Works such as the plywood armchair from this period show the influence of Theo van Doesburg, the Dutch designer who brought the ideas of the De Stijl movement to the Bauhaus.
Through his experiments in the workshop, Breuer became interested in finding ways in which new materials could be used in the design of furniture suited to modern life. By using tubular steel in the ‘Club’ chair and B5 side chair he invented a kind of furniture that could be easily mass produced and is still popular today. Breuer continued designing furniture for mass production but left the Bauhaus in 1928 to open his own architectural firm in Berlin. He remained there until the rise of the Nazis forced him to leave for the USA in 1938.