In 1940, MoMA sponsored a contest challenging designers to submit furniture, lamps, and textiles of “Organic Design,” which curator Elliot Noyes described as exemplifying “harmonious organization of the parts within the whole, according to structure, material, and purpose.” Winners would not only have their work exhibited in the 1941 exhibition Organic Design in Home Furnishings, but were also awarded contracts for manufacture and distribution with major department stores, with the first day of sales timed to coincide with the exhibition’s opening. This exhibition introduced the world to Eero Saarinen and Charles Eames, who worked together as a team and won in both the chair design (with the iconic Organic Chair) and living room categories.
Organic Design in Home Furnishings
September 24–November 9, 1941 The Museum of Modern Art
Alvar AaltoFinnish, 1898–197631 exhibitions, 39 works online
Carl AndersonAmerican, 1903–19893 exhibitions, 1 work online
Benjamin BaldwinAmerican, 1913–19936 exhibitions, 2 works online
Ross BellahAmerican, 1907–20043 exhibitions, 1 work online
Marcel BreuerAmerican, born Hungary. 1902–198144 exhibitions, 29 works online
- There are 14 artists in this exhibition online.