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Fiberglass Armchair with Steinberg Nude

Saul Steinberg


During one notable visit to the Eames Office at 901 Washington in Venice, California, in June of 1950, Saul Steinberg transformed several pieces of Eames furniture by drawing directly on their surfaces. Steinberg had begun drawing on objects and walls the previous year, for instance drawing on a bathtub in such a way that made it appear that a woman was relaxing inside. And in another similar example, he perched a female figure on the edge of a tub. This chair was one of two that Steinberg decorated with a female nude when he visited the Eameses. As originally staged and photographed in the office, the fiberglass armchair was displayed without a base. This enabled its drawing to extend off the edge of the shell and onto the floor below, completing the figure’s legs. The chair caused an uproar when it was exhibited the following year—now on a simple metal base—in Long Beach, California. Perceived as playful by some and vulgar by others, newspapers reported that at one point the chair was turned around to hide its occupant, only to be turned back around later to return her to view.

  • Manufacturer: Office of Charles and Ray Eames
  • Medium:Fiberglass, steel, paint
  • Dimensions:23 1/16 x 24 15/16 x 24 5/8 in. (58.5 x 63.4 x 62.6 cm)
  • Item:2019.2.370