A new exhibition on the history of Swiss furniture maker Vitra opens Saturday at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibition, "Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots," will examine Vitra's design and model studies, highlighting its partnerships with designers like Philippe Starck and Ron Arad, which led to iconic designs like Starck's W.W. Stool and Arad's Looping steel Well-Tempered Chair.
The exhibition includes both current and archived products representing Vitra's American roots, taken from the experimental collection Vitra Edition as well as Germany's Vitra Design Museum, such as a plywood toy elephant by Charles and Ray Eames and a group of Alexander Girard's Wooden Dolls. The exhibition will be housed in the museum's Collab Gallery in the Perelman Building, originally designed by Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary and expanded in 2004 by New York's Gluckman Mayner Architects.
Collab, a group that focuses on bringing preeminent objects of mass-produced and uncommon designs to the museum, will also be presenting its 2014 Design Excellence Award to Vitra's chairman emeritus, Rolf Fehlbaum, on Friday.
"Vitra—Design, Architecture, Communication: A European Project with American Roots" opens at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Nov. 22 and runs through April 26.