American Decorative Arts
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contactRights and Reproductions.
Designer: Gilbert Rohde, American, 1894 - 1944
Manufacturer: Herman Miller Furniture Company, American, founded 1923

Vanity and Ottoman


White holly, red English elm, yellow-poplar, cream-colored paint, mirror glass, chrome-plated tubular steel, rose-colored wool and possibly cotton, and Bakelite

168.275 x 130.2 x 40.005 cm (66 1/4 x 51 1/4 x 15 3/4 in.) other (Ottoman, diameter x height): 49.53 x 44.45 cm (19 1/2 x 17 1/2 in.)
Yale University Art Gallery

Hollywood film actresses made vanities a glamorous 1930s furniture form. This example was introduced at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair in the House of Tomorrow. The vanity unites the late 1920s Bauhaus experiments in tubular steel with the panache of high-style French furniture.

Made in Zeeland, Michigan
20th century
On view*

“Acquisitions, 1999,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2000): 161.

Kristina Wilson, “Middle-Class Modernism: A Vanity Table and Ottoman by Gilbert Rohde,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2002): 104–5, ill.

Kristina Wilson, Livable Modernism: Interior Decorating and Design during the Great Depression (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2004), 100–102, fig. 3.1.

Gregory Cerio, “Gilbert Rohde: The Man Who Saved Herman Miller,” Antiques (December 2008): fig. 2.

Phyllis Ross, Gilbert Rhode: Modern Design for Modern Living (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2009), 110–111, fig. 79.

John Stuart Gordon et al., A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011), 260–61, no. 175.

Jason T. Busch and Catherine L. Futter, “Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851–1939,” Antiques 179, no. 2 (March–April 2012): 97, fig. 18.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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