The collection
Armless sofa with three seats with tan seat and back cushions on a low steel bench. Between two of the seats is a white Formica table surface.

Sofa-Table Lounge Unit, 6GU

Designed by
George Nelson Associates (active 1947–1983)
Painted steel, Formica, lacquered mahogany, polyurethane foam, wool, upholstery
Produced by
Herman Miller Furniture Co., Zeeland, Michigan
73.7 x 246.2 x 61.5 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, D81.114.1

This combination table and seating unit epitomizes minimalist midcentury modernism. The Michigan-based Herman Miller Furniture Co. became known for innovative furniture by hiring some of the leading American designers of the era, an initiative led by George Nelson, who became its director of design in 1947. Nelson’s own architectural firm designed furniture for the company, including this modular example.

With its original beige upholstery over polyurethane foam, its white Formica tabletop and painted steel frame, it added an unobtrusive presence in a modern interior where multi-functional furniture saved space.

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