The collection
Armchair of metal mesh with rectangular base and curved arms and back.

Armchair, How High the Moon

Designed by
Shiro Kuramata (1934–1991)
Nickel-plated steel mesh
Produced by
Vitra GmbH, Birsfelden, Switzerland
72.4 x 95 x 81.8 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, D90.114.1

Kuramata’s furniture and interiors convey a spiritual dimension to design by using industrial materials to create weightlessness and transparency. This armchair, created entirely from a single material, recalls comfortable Victorian armchairs, but it transforms this traditional design into a new aesthetic by dematerializing the form.

The name How High the Moon makes another connection to the past, derived from a composition by Duke Ellington, recalling the jazz music that Kuramata heard and loved when he was growing up in Occupied Japan. In production to the present day, this chair demonstrates how the everyday could be both elegant and poetic.

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