Rocking Chair

Designed by Charles Eames, American, 1907 - 1978, and Ray Eames, American, 1912 - 1988. Shell made from 1950 to c. 1961 by Zenith Plastics Company, Gardena, California. Made for the Herman Miller Furniture Company, Zeeland, Michigan, 1923 - present.

Geography:
Made in United States, North and Central America

Date:
Designed 1950-1953

Medium:
Molded fiberglass, iron, birch, rubber

Dimensions:
26 1/2 x 27 x 27 1/2 inches (67.3 x 68.6 x 69.9 cm) Seat height: 15 inches (38.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1985-94-1

Credit Line:
Gift of Collab: The Group for Modern and Contemporary Design at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1985

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Label:
Charles and Ray Eames designed the shell of this chair in 1948; the rockers were added in 1950. These chairs were available to the public until 1968, after which they were given as gifts of Herman Miller Furniture Company to employees celebrating the birth or adoption of a child.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    Landmarks of modern design, Charles and Ray Eames’s molded-shell chairs, including the RAR rocker, were among the first pieces of mass-produced furniture made primarily of plastic. Their form evolved from the Eameses’ prize-winning proposal to the 1948 International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design, sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The shell of their winning chair was molded from a single material and could be mounted on a variety of bases, including rockers. They had intended to stamp the shells from metal, but through collaboration with Zenith Plastics they developed a plastic version that was lightweight, durable, colorful, and inexpensive to manufacture. David L. Barquist, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 344.