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Chess Table

A work made of ebonized plywood, aluminum, and lucite.
© 2018 The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • A work made of ebonized plywood, aluminum, and lucite.

Date:

Designed 1944; made c. 1949

Artist:

Isamu Noguchi
American, 1904–1988
Herman Miller Furniture Company
American, founded 1923
Zeeland, Michigan

About this artwork

Isamu Noguchi first designed this sculptural chess table for the 1944 Surrealist exhibition, The Imagery of Chess. The table epitomizes his exploration of Surrealism through its irregular biomorphic shape. It also demonstrates his synthesis of Eastern and Western influences: Noguchi drew from the gestural profiles of Chinese calligraphy for the tabletop form and Japanese joinery techniques for the base’s interlocking legs. The designer George Nelson bought the original table, and a few years later connected Noguchi with the manufacturer Herman Miller, who briefly put the table into commercial production.

Status

On View, Gallery 262

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artists

Isamu Noguchi , Herman Miller Furniture Company (Manufacturer)

Title

Chess Table

Places

Zeeland (Object made in), United States (Artist's nationality)

Dates

Designed 1944 , Made 1945-1954

Medium

Ebonized plywood, aluminum, and Lucite

Dimensions

52.7 × 63.5 × 63.5 cm (20 3/4 × 25 × 25 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior bequest of Arthur Rubloff; purchased with funds provided by the Antiquarian Society; Quinn E. Delaney Fund

Reference Number

2010.227

Copyright

© 2018 The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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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