Screen-printed wood fiberboard, mahogany, brass, wire, electric light
H. 87, W. 31-1/2, D. 16 in. (221 x 80 x 40.6 cm.)
a: top; H. 45, W. 31-1/2. D. 9-1/4 in. (114.3 x 80 x 23.5 cm)
b: bottom; H. 42, W. 31-1/2, D. 16 in. (106.7 x 80 x 40.6 cm)
John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, 1997
Rights and Reproduction:
On view at The Met Breuer on Floor 3
Ponti said that chief among furniture’s innumerable functions is pleasure, a sentiment Sottsass surely shared. The secretaire invites us to delight in a visual and spatial game of architectural metaphors between structure and surface, facade and interior perspective. As in Sottsass’s work, the drop-front writing cabinet’s form and ornament derives from historical archetyes—here, eighteenth-century furniture and neoclassical architecture. Ponti, Sottsass’s mentor, designed the form, and Fornasetti was responsible for the clever trompe l’oeil 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.
Mariuccia Casadio. Fornasetti. Ed. Barnaba Fornasetti. Vol. 2, La bottega fantastica. Milan, 2009, pp. 355–56, 361, 387, ill. p. 357 (color).