Screen-printed wood fiberboard, mahogany, brass, wire, electric light
H. 86, W. 31-1/2, D. 16 in. (218.4 x 80 x 40.6 cm.)
John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, 1997
Not on view
Although historical precedent provides the formal and decorative inspiration for this drop-front writing cabinet (sixteenth-century Italian Mannerist architectural compositions and furniture in particular), there is a surreal quality to Fornasetti's witty and inventive architectural fantasy, which plays games with perspective and preconceptions of interior and exterior space. The desk represents a collaboration between the architect Ponti, who designed the pared-down yet still traditional form, and the designer Fornasetti-a former student of Ponti-who was responsible for the exuberant, pseudo-illusionist decoration.
John C. Waddell, New York (until 1997; his gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions of Twentieth-Century Design and Architecture," June 29–November 14, 1999, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part III: 1950–1975," November 28, 2000–April 1, 2001, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Classic/Fantastic: Selections from the Modern Design Collection," December 21, 2007–April 5, 2009, no catalogue.