Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Ball Chair In Miniature!


A Hundred Years - A Hundred Chairs. Masterworks from the Vitra Design Museum is the current exhibition through September 16th at the Tampa Museum of Art. It's a large collection of chairs arranged on steel and glass shelves but is much more interesting than you might imagine. It's really very cool. There are chairs you will instantly recognize and others you’ll be very glad you never had to sit on as a child (as punishment). Plastic, wood, metal, leather and lots of great plastic creations.

There are displays featuring drawings, sketches, ads and brochures that help educate and guide you through the interesting history. All of them are on loan from the Vitra Design Museum located in Weil am Rhein, Germany (to visit Vitra click HERE). The museum holds the estates of designers like Charles and Ray Eames, and the main building was designed by architect Frank Gehry. Some of the chairs look pretty dull when compared to Gehry’s design for the building that houses them. The exhibition is well worth seeing. For more info click HERE.

The chair you see above is very small. It measures roughly 8-inches top to bottom but is an exact copy of the famous Eero Aarnio's Ball Chair design of 1965. It's so emblematic of the culture of the 1960s and yet very few people actually owned one. Cocoon-like and extremely comfortable, it's a shiny plastic sphere with cozy cushioning covering the entire inside. (Very 2001 Space Odyssey.) This 1/6 miniature (costing about $355) is available from the museum gift shop.


3 comments:

Lowell said...

Only $355? Shucks, I think I'll get two.

Can't imagine that thing at the right size would be comfy, but I'll take your word for it. Reminds me a bit of the bean bag "chairs" we had in the early 70s. They could be arranged to be comfortable but it took some work and then once in awhile the kids poked a hole in one which you could patch but said patch never lasted too long.

Looks like a very cool museum. Tampa is a very cool city!

Lois said...

I do like that red!

Frank said...

@Lowell - The most expensive miniature chair is the Eames designed leather chair and foot stool at almost $800...in miniature!! Even a hamster can't enjoy these little chairs. I also have great memories of trying to look comfortable on a big bean bag chair. Not a favorite.

@Lois - It really is a bright red. The real thing is very intriguing.