Eames® Lounge Chair and Ottoman
Today it’s one of the most widely recognized and imitated furniture designs, but Charles Eames's goal for the Lounge Chair and Ottoman, featured in the Museum’s collection, was much more modest. He wanted to build a chair with "the warm receptive look of a well-used first baseman's mitt." He nestled supple leather-covered cushions in molded-plywood, veneer-covered forms and connected them with die-cast aluminum back braces. The cushions were then set on bases painted black with bright polished aluminum trim and adjustable stainless steel glides.
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Now an icon of modern design, the chair has been produced continuously for over 50 years by the original manufacturer, Herman Miller®. This authorized version is made of molded, seven-ply veneered plywood and is upholstered in an environmentally friendly top-grain leather made from 100% all grain hides. Each hide has an inherent natural beauty that gives the leather a more unique look and much softer feel than traditional leathers that are sanded and pressed. A light water-based protective coating offers added durability without sacrificing the leather's rich texture and distinct touch.
About the Designers
Charles Eames & Ray Eames
Husband-and-wife design team Charles (1907-1978) and Ray (1912-1988) Eames were among the most influential designers of the twentieth century. Their landmark contributions include furniture, architecture, film, and graphics. They were pioneers in the molding of plywood, which was developed from their experiments and projects for the U.S. Navy. Their association with the Museum goes back to 1940, with a joint entry with Eero Saarinen in the MoMA competition "Organic Design in Home Furnishings." Since then nearly 100 examples of their work have entered the Museum's design collection.
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MoMA Design Collection
The Museum of Modern Art has played a pivotal role in the evolution of modern design since 1932, when MoMA created the worldâs first curatorial department devoted to architecture and design. Through its influential exhibitions, acquisitions, and competitions, the Museum promoted the values of âGood Design.â The design collection now includes more than 3,700 design objects and textiles.
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Following World War II, a number of factors combined to foster a new direction in home products and furniture. New materials, such as molded plywood and plastic, and advances in mass production techniques opened a world of design options. Through the efforts of companies like Herman Miller, their longtime design director George Nelson, and the influential team of Charles and Ray Eames, these new designs could be produced for a broad market. A new vocabulary of ergonomic form, versatile function, and synthetic material emergedâand some of the most beloved furniture of the century was created.