DCW (Dining Chair Wood)

designed 1945–46, made 1946–47
Designed by Charles Eames (American, 1907–1978), Manufactured by Evans Products Company (Molded Plywood Division) (active 1943–1946), Distributed by Herman Miller Furniture Company (active 1923–present)


Object Place: Venice, California, United States; Object Place: Grand Haven, Michigan

Dimensions

73.34 x 48.89 x 52.07 cm (28 7/8 x 19 1/4 x 20 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

1975.32

Medium or Technique

Plywood with walnut veneer, rubber

On View

The 1940s and 1950s (Gallery 336)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Seating and beds

Back and seat of molded plywood, shaped in compound curves. A heavier C-shaped piece of plywood connects back and seat to which U-shaped back legs are connected. Front legs are slightly longer and attached to underside of seat with rubber shock mounts.


In the early 1940s, designers and newlyweds Charles and Ray Eames pioneered a production method to simultaneously bend plywood in more than one direction, using their homemade Kazam machine. With this innovation, which the artists named for its speed and efficiency-you put in a piece of wood and “Kazam!” It’s bent!-they won a commission from the U.S. Navy to design plywood leg splints and stretchers for wounded sailors, featuring compound curves to support the body. They applied the same technology after the war in the body-conforming design of the DCW and DCM. This chair was exhibited in 1947 at the Museum of Modern Art, after which the Eameses gave it to their friend and fellow furniture designer Edward J. Wormley.

This text was adapted from Ward, et al., MFA Highlights: American Decorative Arts & Sculpture (Boston, 2006) available at www.mfashop.com/mfa-publications.html.

Credit Line

Gift of Edward J. Womley

Copyright

Used with permission. Herman Miller, Inc.® Eames®