About This Artwork

Attributed to Irving Harper for George Nelson Associates
American, born 1916
Made by Howard Miller Clock Company
Zeeland, Michigan, founded 1926

Ball Clock, c. 1948/69

Chrome, black enameled metal, and ebonized wood
34.3 x 8.9 cm (13 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.)
Printed label on reverse: howard miller clock company/ZEELAND, MICHIGAN/115 V.60 CY.2 WATTS

Orbit Fund, 1999.678

Introducing a modern scientific reference into domestic design, this work belongs to the Chronopak series of electric clocks designed by Irving Harper during his tenure with George Nelson Associates. This clock is not only symbolic of American design following World War II, but it also represents design philosophies that embodied issues such as informal living and portability. Although the clock is completely abstract, it suggests both the structure of the atom and the iconic asterisk symbol that abounded in the 1950s.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Publication History

Jennifer M. Downs, “ ‘The New Modern Feeling’: A Catalogue of the Collection,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 27, 2 (2001), pp. 94-96, cat. 28.

Judith A. Barter et al., "American Modernism at the Art Institute of Chicago, From World War I to 1955," (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2009), cat. 174.

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