On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Ash plywood, rubber, metal
Overall: 25 3/8 x 22 x 23 in. (64.5 x 55.9 x 58.4 cm)
Seat height: 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) (show scale)
Gift of Barry Friedman and Patricia Pastor
Seat and back of ash plywood molded in compound curves, contoured to human form; supported by understructure composed of a pair of upside-down U-shaped legs, the front ones taller than the back. A slightly irregular C-shaped piece of heavier molded plywood bent only in two dimensions, links the back and seat panels with the legs. Rubber shock-mounts separate and connect seat and back to frame.
CONDITION: Normal wear with no chips or breaks; numerous marks to surface: (4m) indentation in center of seat near top; short white scuff and clear scratch to front proper left of seat at bend; black crayon (?) mark to rear proper right back near bottom; two water stains (?) to rear of back; three slight stains (possibly from production) surrounding top of frame; scuff along width of frame rear, just below seat; several stains and few black lines on top of rear legs. Rubber mounts at back drying out; these and the ones on bottom possibly replaced some years ago. Stucturally sound with normal flex due to rubber mounts,
Charles Eames (American, 1907-1978). Lounge Chair, 1946. Ash plywood, rubber, metal, Overall: 25 3/8 x 22 x 23 in. (64.5 x 55.9 x 58.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Barry Friedman and Patricia Pastor, 83.153.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 83.153.1_bw.jpg)
overall, 83.153.1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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I see this chair a lot. Is there a story behind it?
You've found a LCW (lounge chair with wood base) designed by Ray and Charles Eames and manufactured in 1946 by Herman Miller. Hundreds of thousands of these have been made. The Eames were a husband and wife team that revolutionized the use of molded plywood in furniture design! Their work was highly influential and chairs in this style are still being made today. Ray and Charles Eames perfected their technique for molding plywood in 1942, when they designed lightweight leg splints to be used by the American military during the second world war. The organic form of the splints respond to the human body in the same way that this chair does. If you are interested, we have one of the splints nearby in the Luce Visible Storage and Study Center.