Abandoned Polish Wedding Chairs

An intriguing image of chairs with trees growing through reportedly stems from an ill-fated wedding in Poland that was halted by the onset of World War II.

  • Published 15 July 2015
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Claim

A photograph depicts chairs left in a Polish forest after a 1939 wedding was canceled due to the start of World War II.

Rating

Miscaptioned
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Origin

A tale about a photograph of still-cared-for chairs symbolizing a wedding in Poland that was called off due to the onset of World War II in 1939 is a poignant and touching narrative:

These chairs were laid out for a wedding in 1939 in Poland. The wedding was abandoned, and so were the chairs due to the German invasion. They were found again after the war with the trees growing through them. Every year they are repainted.

However, this is a false backstory that has become attached to an entirely unrelated image. (One would have wonder about the likelihood that all these chairs were somehow precisely located in spots where trees would later grow up between their seats and backs).

What is actually depicted here is an art installation (entitled “The Four Seasons of Vivaldi”) created along the road between Haut-bois and Faulx in Namur, Belgium, in 2001 by French conceptual artist/sculptor Patrick Demazeau.

Much of Demazeau’s work involves the juxtaposition of furniture and nature, which symbolizes the trees (who spend their lives standing) offering seats to share with the walkers and dreamers who come across them: