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Eames Storage Unit (ESU)

Decorative Arts and Design

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Eames Storage Unit (ESU)

Artwork Details


Charles Eames (American, 1907–1978), designer
Ray Kaiser Eames (American, 1913–1988), designer
Herman Miller, Inc., Zeeland, Michigan, established 1923, manufacturer




Molded plywood, zinc-plated steel, and laminated Masonite

Accession #



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On View - Wieland Pavilion, Skyway, Gallery 419


The Eames Storage Unit (ESU) was first introduced by the Herman Miller Furniture Company in 1950. A system of modular storage units made of plywood, lacquered Masonite, and steel framing, the unit’s configuration could be easily rearranged as customers’ needs changed or as it was moved from living room to dining room to bedroom. The ESU was remarkable because it was industrially mass-produced with interchangeable parts and was an effort to create economical household furniture. This example is the second edition of the ESU, which had stability the original lacked, provided by triangular brackets on the legs.


Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment