Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"Butterfly" Stool

Sori Yanagi (Japanese, Tokyo 1915–2011 Tokyo)
Tendo Co., Ltd.
Designed 1954; manufactured 1987
Rosewood, stainless steel
15 1/4 x 16 5/8 x 12 in. (38.7 x 42.2 x 30.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Tendo Co., Ltd., 1988
Accession Number:
Not on view
Ease of travel in the jet age encouraged a growing fusion of cultural influences after World War II. Although Yanagi's stool was designed and manufactured in Japan, it employs Western form (the stool) and material (bentwood). Its calligraphic elegance, however, suggests a distinctly Asian sensibility despite the rarity of such seating furniture in traditional Japanese culture. The stool is made from two curving and inverted L-shaped rosewood sections, each forming one leg and half of the seat. A metal rod midway between the legs serves as a stretcher and holds the stool together.
Tendo Co., Ltd., Yamagata, Japan (1987–88; their gift to MMA)

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. "Significant Objects," November 26, 2002–May 2, 2004, no catalogue.

160 Contemporary Chairs from Keiji Nagai Collection. Tokyo, 1984, ill. p. 151 (Keiji Nagai collection).

Nancy Carlisle. Cherished Possessions: A New England Legacy. Exh. cat., Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Me. Boston, 2003, p. 425, ill. (color) (Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities collection), fig. 3 (installation photo, living room of Gropius House, Lincoln, Mass.).

Gretchen Buggeln. "'Cherished Possessions: A New England Legacy'. An Exhibition Review." Winterthur Portfolio 40 (Summer/ Autumn 2005), p. 158, fig. 4 (installation photo; Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities collection).

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