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Coffee table - CTW

CTW

  • Object:

    Coffee table

  • Place of origin:

    California (made)

  • Date:

    1947-1948 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Eames, Charles, born 1907 - died 1978 (designer)
    Eames, Ray, born 1912 - died 1988 (designer)
    Evans Products Company - Molded Plywood Division (manufacturer)
    Herman Miller Furniture Co (distributors)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Moulded plywood and metal

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Nina and Graham Williams

  • Museum number:

    W.2-1994

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

At the close of the Second World War Charles and Ray Eames developed several prototype moulded plywood tables for manufacture by Evans Products in Los Angeles, among them this model with its distinctive saucer-shaped top. The compound curve of the moulded table top, in which the plywood is curved in three dimensions, was a major breakthrough of the period. The designers intended the table to complement their plywood chairs from the same period and they were designed with the same intent: making minimal use of wood and hardware, mass-produced for efficiency and low cost, and suitable for a variety of uses in the home.

This table bears a label for the manufacturer, Evans Products, and the distributor, Herman Miller. Evans Products was the first firm to make the tables, in California in 1946. In 1947 Charles Eames became a consultant for the Herman Miller Company who took over the distribution, though not the manufacture, of Eames furniture. In the same year Evans Products moved its manufacturing from California to Michigan, and stopped selling its products itself. From 1949 the Herman Miller Company manufactured Eames furniture as well as distributing it, and Evans Products severed all links with the Eameses.

The table was bought by the Russian émigré constructivist sculptor Naum Gabo and his wife Miriam in about 1948/9. They had emigrated from Britain in 1946 and probably bought this for their house in Waterbury, Connecticut. Ironically, in later life Miriam Gabo complained that the rim - the great innovation of plywood moulded into complex curves - simply caused cups and glasses to slide off the table.

Physical description

Coffee table, circular top and four legs. Moulded plywood, metal domes on feet.

Place of Origin

California (made)

Date

1947-1948 (made)

Artist/maker

Eames, Charles, born 1907 - died 1978 (designer)
Eames, Ray, born 1912 - died 1988 (designer)
Evans Products Company - Molded Plywood Division (manufacturer)
Herman Miller Furniture Co (distributors)

Materials and Techniques

Moulded plywood and metal

Marks and inscriptions

Manufactured by Evans Products Company, molded plywood division. Herman Miller Furniture Company Sole Distributor. Designed by Charles Eames.
Labelled on underside

Dimensions

Height: 39.2 cm, Width: 87.4 cm

Object history note

This table was bought by Naum and Miriam Gabo in about 1948-9. The sculptor and his family emigrated to the USA from Britain in 1946.

Historical context note

Evans Products Company began making three-legged molded plywood tables to the Eameses designs in 1945 but very soon turned to four-legged tables which were more stable.

Descriptive line

Table, designed by Charles and Ray Eames, made by Evans Products, USA, 1946-7, moulded plywood

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Eames Design, Neuhart, Neuhart and Eames (Ernst & Sohn), pp 62, 63, 80.

Labels and date

COFFEE TABLE

Designed by Charles Eames (American, 1907-1978) and Ray Eames (American, 1912-1988)
Manufactured by Molded Plywood Division, Evans Products Company, Venice, California, USA
Distributed by Herman Miller Furniture Company, Zeeland, Michigan, USA
Molded plywood
1946-7

This table was bought by the emigré Russian sculptor Naum Gabo and his wife Miriam in about 1948/9, having moved to Connecticut from England in 1946.

Given by Nina and Graham Williams
W.2-1994 [1994-2006]

Materials

Plywood

Techniques

Moulded

Categories

Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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