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Marshmallow Sofa

Decorative Arts and Design

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Marshmallow Sofa

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

George Nelson (American, 1908-1986), designer
Herman Miller, Inc. (American, established 1923), manufacturer

Date

1956

Medium

Chrome frame and fabric

Accession #

1990.54

Dimensions

31 x 51 1/2 x 31 inches

Location

On View - Wieland Pavilion, Skyway, Gallery 419

Description

This sofa is one of manufacturer Herman Miller’s most famous pieces. Iconic designer George Nelson and Irving Harper, a young designer working in Nelson’s firm, were approached by an inventor with a durable and inexpensively produced plastic disc cushion. The designers arranged eighteen discs on a steel frame, and the Marshmallow sofa was born. The inventor’s cushions turned out to be impractical, but Nelson and Harper were intrigued by the design and Herman Miller decided to manufacture the sofa in 1956, describing it in the catalogue: “Despite its astonishing appearance, this piece is very comfortable.” Only a few hundred were made before it was discontinued in 1965.

Credit

Purchase with funds from the Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment and the Decorative Arts Acquisition Trust

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