Eero Saarinen. Tulip Armchair (model 150). 1955-56
Eero Saarinen

Tulip Armchair (model 150)

1955-56
Not on view
Manufacturer
Knoll Associates, New York, NY
Medium
Fiberglass-reinforced polyester and cast aluminum
Dimensions
31 1/2 x 25 1/4 x 23 1/2" (80 x 64.1 x 59.7 cm)
Credit
Gift of the manufacturer
Object number
149.1958
Department
Architecture and Design

The Tulip Armchair, which resembles the flower but also a stemmed wineglass, is part of Saarinen's last furniture series. This one-legged chair was meant to alleviate one of Saarinen's great concerns: clutter. Describing his intentions to simplify and clarify structure, he said: "The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world. I wanted to clear up the slum of legs. I wanted to make the chair all one thing again." Saarinen designed each piece in the Tulip series of furniture with a single pedestal leg, creating a unified environment of chairs, tables, and stools.

The Tulip chair also marks the culmination of Saarinen's efforts to create a chair molded from a single material, which furthered his design concept of "one piece, one material." But, while the elegant Tulip chair looks as if it is made of all one material, the sculptural fiberglass shell seat is actually supported on an aluminum stem with a fused plastic finish.

Tulip Armchair. 1955-56

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 220

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource