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Occasional Table

A work made of aluminum, bakelite, and iron.

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  • A work made of aluminum, bakelite, and iron.

Date:

c. 1930

Artist:

Walter von Nessen
American, born Germany, 1889–1943
Made by Nessen Studio, Inc.
New York

About this artwork

Walter von Nessen was among the group of architects and designers born and trained in Europe, including Paul Frankl and Wolfgang Hoffmann, who altered the shape of American interior design during the first decades of the 20th century. For his occasional table—whose diminutive stature and portability were inspired by the informal buffet dinners and cocktail parties that gained in popularity during the Prohibition era—Von Nessen shrewdly married modernity with tradition. The aluminum and Bakelite—which were just being accepted as suitable for interior decoration—suggest the latest in machine technology, but they also evoke luxurious materials such as silver and ebonized wood. At the same time, the graceful sweep of aluminum that curves upward toward the tabletop evokes neoclassical visual details.

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Arts of the Americas

Artist

Walter Von Nessen

Title

Occasional Table

Origin

New York City

Date

c. 1930

Medium

Aluminum, Bakelite, and iron

Inscriptions

Impressed: NESSEN / STUDIO / N.Y. / 451 (on underside of base)

Dimensions

46 × 46.4 × 30.5 cm (18 1/8 × 18 1/4 × 12 in.)

Credit Line

Quinn E. Delaney Fund

Reference Number

2009.156

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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