The collection
Large armchair with solid white fiberglass frame and thick cushioning covered in black leather.

Armchair, Elda

Designed by
Cesare (Joe) Colombo (1930–1971)
Molded fiberglass, polyurethane, leather upholstery
Produced by
Comfort, Milan, Italy
92 x 92 x 92 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, gift of Paul Leblanc, D90.147.1

Colombo first studied architecture and began his career as an artist before turning to interior and industrial design. In 1962 he opened a design studio in Milan and the following year created Elda, named after his wife, the first large-scale armchair made of fiberglass. It is composed of two separate pieces that form the front and rear structures, joined together on a rotating base. Seven leather-covered cushions fit into the seat and backrest to create a comfortable, modern version of the traditional wing chair.

Colombo’s skill as a sculptor and knowledge of materials are reflected in this design, and his work in the 1960s was part of the period for which Italian design became internationally known.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Giles Rivest.