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High Tea


Although the fiberglass chair made its initial appearance at the Museum of Modern Art, Ray and Charles Eames didn’t create these chairs to be put on pedestals, they aimed to design a low-cost, high-value design for everyone. Or as Charles stated in Time magazine in 1950, “The objective is the simple thing of getting the best to the greatest number of people for the least.” With a sly wink, this promotional postcard created for Herman Miller illustrates these egalitarian impulses. The vignette—most likely staged within the photo studio at 901 Washington—features a worker taking his lunch break at an Eames DTM table while seated in one of their latest designs, the molded plastic DSS chair. Further emphasizing the commentary on classism, the back of the card ironically refers to his meal as “high tea,” while the disassembled carton in which the chairs presumably just arrived is addressed to “Mr. & Mrs. Frank Porley, 17 Main Street, Anytown, U.S.A.”

  • Medium:Printed paper
  • Dimensions:3 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (8.9 x 14 cm)
  • Item:A.EIAC.2022.I.007