DATE - 1948

In 1948, the Museum of Modern Art called for entries in what they at first called “The Low-Cost Furniture Competition.” Ultimately, the Eames Office won second place in the overall competition, with their molded shell chairs with a great and diverse system of bases. In addition to submitting the molded shell chairs, including what eventually was known as “La Chaise,” they entered what they called “The Minimum Chair.” 

Additional Information

Charles Eames produced two versions of this chair: One had a seat back and seat made of perforated metal. The other had the same form, but the parts were made of sheet metal If ever a chair were true to its name, it is this one. 

The entry panel description reads as follows: “The Minimum Chair: A chair minimum in mass but not so in comfort. It provides the body a welcome type of relaxation by supporting but not confining. For the small dining, kitchen desk, any place where space is at a premium.”

This chair, with a front view profile that resembles an exclamation point, weighed only 13 pounds. It was too radical for the greater furniture market with its spare bent steel structure and literally “minimal” seat and back.

Even though the chair model was submitted as part of the Eames entry in this competition, the judges did not comment on it. They focused instead on the molded shell arm and side chairs, which, by the time of the competition exhibition were already being made in fiberglass.

Explore Similar Works

Related Products

Browse a curated selection of Eames Office products we think you’ll love