FIRST GENERATION EAMES ZENITH ROPE-EDGE 'LAX' LOUNGE CHAIR
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An early first-generation LAX armchair in near-mint condition. The elephant-hide gray fiberglass shell sits atop a lounge X-base and retains its iconic, full-checkerboard label. Designed by Charles and Ray Eames for HERMAN MILLER, 1950-53.
CHARLES & RAY EAMES were a married team of industrial designers whose creativity and drive helped shape America's 20th century. Their lives and work represent many of the defining developments of the period: the West Coast's coming-of-age, the shift away from manufacturing towards the production of information, and the global reach of American culture. The Eameses saw modern design as an agent of social change; their evolution from furniture designers to cultural ambassadors speaks not only to their boundless talent but also to an overlap between their interests and the national agenda. In an era of uniquely shared objectives, they partnered with both the federal government and top businesses to lead the charge to modernize post-war America. (No need to further belabor the well-recorded story of their enduring contribution. Suffice it to say that American mid-century design would not have been what it was without their tremendous gifts.)
Begun in the late '40s, the Eames' relationship with manufacturer HERMAN MILLER was to become perhaps the most legendary collaborative effort ever known in the modern furniture industry, as the sheer wealth of its design output attests.
Whoever said that pleasure wasn't functional? – CHARLES & RAY EAMES
HERMAN MILLER was founded in 1905 as the Star Furniture Co. in Zeeland, a town near Grand Rapids in western Michigan. Zeeland had been settled primarily by Dutch immigrants, many of whom had brought with them legacy skills in the crafting of fine furniture. By 1900, Grand Rapids and environs had become a hub for its production.
In 1919, Star Furniture was renamed the Michigan Star Furniture Co., and Dirk Jan ("DJ") De Pree, originally hired as a clerk, became its new president. Along with a small group of local businessmen, De Pree and his father-in-law Herman Miller purchased 51% of the company in 1923 and renamed it HERMAN MILLER.
The company had historically been a manufacturer of high-end, traditional-style home furnishings based on modified European designs. With the arrival of the Great Depression, De Pree was forced to consider new products in order to survive in a shrinking market. In 1931 he was approached by the industrial designer Gilbert Rohde (who reportedly entered the showroom unannounced). De Pree listened to Rohde's ideas and, attracted by his straightforward approach, hired him to design a new line of furniture for HERMAN MILLER. Rohde speculated that the decreasing size of modern homes would inspire a demand for a smaller, simpler, and lighter furniture style that De Pree referred to as "more honest" than that of traditional pieces. So began the HERMAN MILLER's transformation into the modern furniture juggernaut it would become.
HERMAN MILLER debuted its new line of modern furniture at the Century of Progress exposition in Chicago. In 1941, the company opened showrooms in Chicago and New York City. Under Rohde's supervision, HERMAN MILLER entered the office furniture market in 1942 with the introduction of the modular Executive Office Group (EOG).
Rohde died in 1944 and was replaced by architect George Nelson (1908-1986), who joined the firm as its director of design in 1945. Nelson was to have an enormous influence upon HERMAN MILLER, not only for his personal design contributions, but also for the talented designers he recruited to its ranks—Isamu Noguchi, Charles and Ray Eames, Robert Propst, and textile designer Alexander Girard. HERMAN MILLER was incorporated in 1960 and is in business to this day as one of the top producers of office furniture in the world.
Maker - Herman Miller Co.
Production Period - 1949-1964
Designer - Charles & Ray Eames
Design Period - 1950-53
Origin - USA
Styles/Movements - Mid-Century Modern; Space Age; Minimalism
Materials - Fiberglass, steel, rubber
Colors - Dark gray
Condition - Excellent vintage condition. Legs have typical signs of age/patina.
Dimensions - 24.5ʺ W × 24ʺ D × 27ʺ H
Seat Height - 16"