Does a Chair Have A Personality?



dallas baptistuniversity praying man

The sculpture “Called to Pray.” The chair developed its own personality.

As sculptor Bridgette Mongeon began to research images of a seated Booker T. Washington, she found quite a few. The one that the team at Booker T. Washington High School liked was the one of Booker T on the stool. Further investigation brought the artist to another similar image of Booker T. in a chair with arms.


The artists favorite view of the sculpture depicts the intensity of prayer. This exact view will never be seen by anyone after the back is added.

An artist must look at all aspects of the piece of art. What “feel” do people get from a seated figure of booker T. Washington on a stool compared to having him in a chair with arms? This project reminded the artist of another project. Dallas Baptist University commissioned Bridgette to do a sculpture of a praying man. The school wanted a man on his knees praying. The bible would be either in his hands or on a chair. After much deliberation, a rocking chair in the Dean’s office caught her eye. She wondered how many hours he had sat praying over the school, in this chair. The more she thought about it, the more the chair began to have its own personality. She replicated this chair in the Dallas Baptist sculpture “Called to Pray.” The more the artist began to think about the project for Booker T. Washington High School, the more she was leaning toward the chair with the handles and strong back. It depicted strength, stability, assuredness. Now, to find that chair.


What other famous sculptures depict a man in a chair?  How does the chair make you feel? What do you think the artist was trying to make you feel?  Is there a chair or an object in your home that has a personality? What is it? Why do you think it has a personality and what would it be?

Author Sculptor Bridgette Mongeon

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