Jaracanda wood and cane
Literature: Soraia Cals, Tenreiro, Rio de Janeiro, 1998, Bolsa de Arte, p. 78
Joaquim Tenreiro is without a doubt the founding figure of the Modernist Brazilian furniture design. Born in Melo, Portugal, he was extremely familiar with woodwork as both his father and grandfather were cabinetmakers.
In 1928 he moved to Brazil and started to work as furniture designer for various manufacturers. In the early 1940s he founded his own company, Langenbach and Tenreiro.
His work increasingly gained recognition and Tenreiro started a steady collaboration with Oscar Niemeyer designing linear and essential furniture for new contemporary homes. The rst modern piece of furniture designed for Niemeyer dates 1942; it was made for a home in Cataguazes, Minas Gerais state.
His career continued designing mainly tailored made furniture for important private homes, of ces and of cial buildings. He developed a language adapted to tropical
high temperatures, with extensive use of woven cane (instead of previously dominant velvet) and Brazilian woods, which he used with extraordinary skills creating a unique sense of lightness and beauty.
In 1967 he decided to dedicate his time exclusively to ne arts and became internationally known as a painter and sculptor.
The father of modern furniture design in Brazil Joaquim Tenreiro died in 1992 leaving us an important legacy of elegance, personal style and innovation.