"Aluminum Group" lounge chair and ottoman, 1958
Charles Eames (American, 19071978); Ray Eames (American, 19121988); manufactured by Herman Miller Furniture Company, Zeeland, Michigan
Aluminum and SARAN™ upholstery; Chair: H. 9 in. (22.9 cm), W. 25 1/2 in. (64.8 cm), D. 30 in. (76.2 cm); ottoman: H. 18 in. (45.7 cm), W. 21 in. (53.3 cm), D. 21 1/4 in. (54 cm)
Gift of Ronald S. Kane, 1992 (1992.216.3)
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.