Vanity and Ottoman Designer: Gilbert Rohde (American, 1894–1944)
Manufacturer: Herman Miller, Inc. (American, founded 1923)


American Decorative Arts

On view, 3rd floor, Modern and Contemporary Art and Design

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.


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


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

Credit Line

Yale University Art Gallery

Accession Number



20th century


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 records is ongoing.



Private collection, Binghamton, N.Y., after 1934; Praiseworthy Antiques, Inc., Guilford, N.Y., by 1999
  • 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
  • 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
  • Phyllis Ross, Gilbert Rhode: Modern Design for Modern Living (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2009), 110–111, fig. 79
  • Gregory Cerio, "Gilbert Rohde: The Man Who Saved Herman Miller," Antiques (December 2008), fig. 2
  • Kristina Wilson, Livable Modernism: Interior Decorating and Design during the Great Depression (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2004), 100–102, fig. 3.1
  • Kristina Wilson, "Middle-Class Modernism: A Vanity Table and Ottoman by Gilbert Rohde," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2002), 104–5, ill
  • "Acquisitions, 1999," in "The Architecture of the Yale University Art Gallery," special issue, Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2000), 161
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