He was among the leading furniture designers and visual artists in mid-20th century in Brazil. Joaquim Tenreiro was born in Portugal into a family of woodworkers and carpenters. In the lates 1920s, he inmigrated to Rio de Janeiro. In the early 1940’s, Tenreiro was among the first designers in the Brazilian furniture industry to adopt a European modernist vernacular. His initial efforts, including the 1942 “Poltrona Leve,” met with considerable success, and in 1943 he established his own firm with factories in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. One of his main clients was Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, for whose houses a number of pieces were originally commissioned.