Charles Eames (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1907–1978 St. Louis, Missouri)
Ray Eames (American, 1913–1988)
The Herman Miller Furniture Company, Zeeland, MI
Aluminum and "Saran" upholstery
H 39 x W 25-1/2, D. 30 inches (99.1 x 64.8 x 76.2 cm.)
Gift of Ronald S. Kane, 1992
Not on view
The "Aluminum Group" chair and ottoman were originally created for a private house designed by Alexander Girard and Eero Saarinen in 1958. This chair, with its durable and lightweight aluminum structure and weather-resistant, newly developed SARAN™ or naugahyde upholstery, was created for use either indoors or out, and in the first years of production, the Herman Miller Furniture Company marketed the line as the "Indoor-Outdoor" Group. The flexible metal skeleton of the "Aluminum Group" provided a new model for seating furniture, serving as the basis for a number of the Eames' future designs. Charles and Ray modified the design a decade later by adding padded seats and backs; these new models were known as the "Soft Pad" chairs. Like all Eames furniture, comfort was a key consideration in the design. The suspension mechanism in the seat back marked an important innovation in modern chair design, allowing great movement and flexibility to the user.
Ronald S. Kane, New York (by 1982–92; his gift to MMA)
Detroit Institute of Arts. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," December 14, 1983–February 19, 1984, unnumbered cat. (fig. 107; lent by Ronald S. Kane, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," April 18–June 17, 1984, unnumbered cat.
Helsinki. Suomen Rakennustaiteen Museo/ Suomen Taideteollisuusyhdistys. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," August 1–September 19, 1984, unnumbered cat.
Paris. Musée des Arts Décoratifs. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," October 24, 1984–January 21, 1985, unnumbered cat.
London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Design in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950," April 1–June 30, 1985, unnumbered cat.
Arthur Drexler. Charles Eames Furniture from the Design Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 1973, pp. 42, 55, figs. 71, 73–76 (MoMA collection).
Esther McCoy. "Charles and Ray Eames." Design Quarterly no. 98/99 (1975), pp. 27–28, ill.
R. Craig Miller inDesign in America: The Cranbrook Vision 1925–1950. Exh. cat., Detroit Institute of Arts. New York, 1983, p. 127, fig. 107.
John Neuhart, Marilyn Neuhart, and Ray Eames. Eames Design: The Work of the Office of Charles and Ray Eames. New York, 1989, pp. 226–29, ill.
Pat Kirkham. Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, Mass., 1995, pp. 246–49, fig. 5.27.
Gloria Koenig. Charles & Ray Eames 1907–1978, 1912–1988: Pioneers of Mid-Century Modernism. Cologne, 2005, pp. 70–71, ill. (color and bw).
Marilyn Neuhart with John Neuhart. The Story of Eames Furniture., Book 2: The Herman Miller Age. Berlin, 2010, pp. 660–74, ill. (color and bw, overall, details, sketches).